You Better Think!

There are so many out there guilty of a Social Media faux pas that it seems commonplace by now. That alone makes it pretty much unacceptable for a Social Media professional to get on this naughty list. So to an even greater extent than the an’average joe,’ we need to think strategically before we hit the post button. I mean, we’re dealing with the World Wide Web, here people– if we let a fiery email cool off before hitting send, we should be doubly sure before sharing a post. Lots of misguided rhetoric may never reach the mainstream. Time and again, it’s shown that commentary likely to incite constituents often isn’t even worth the satisfaction found in those first sweet seconds after posting. (Enter the edit option on many sites now.) So if I had to craft a Social Media Code of Ethics, its guiding principle would be, “You Better Think!.”

First, let’s start with what not to do. Anyone representing a brand of mine would be asked to follow these tenets:

Business is Never Personal
When you’re representing a brand, YOU ARE REPRESENTING A BRAND. This should not be confused with representing self, or your personal beliefs. Rather, an agent of my brand(s) should always speak from the heart of the brand as opposed to his or her deeply held beliefs. In an ideal world, they’d be fairly aligned, but that’s not guaranteed in the business world.

Truthfulness is expected, but being purposefully Mean Spirited is Unacceptable
There are some who just don’t know how to fight fair. Let’s not be one of those people. Sure, you can put your own spin on anything you’re in charge of editing, but let’s not seek to hurt more than to inform.

When in doubt, remember the Brand!
It’s always imperative to consider in those last moments, as your finger depresses the ‘post’ button, will this ultimately help or harm the Brand? If the posting in anyway diminishes the brand, it is ill advised to continue with the posting. Ultimately, most brands want to be seen as cutting edge, evocative and sometimes even edgy. But nobody campaigns for the title of school yard bully. Let’s ensure we stay on a level playing field.

Unfortunately, there are some who got the memo regarding the folly of poorly-thought-out posting. Let’s hope these lessons don’t go unheeded.


I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing

Like many, I only paid a cursory amount of attention to the warnings that Hurricane Sandy was headed up the East Coast. We all have a certain amount of disdain for weather reporters and they often swerve at the last minute. No worries. But as the week progressed, and the reports remained steady, I took note. I really became a believer when flashlights and batteries flew off the shelf the Friday beforehand. Okay, I take that back. I really-really believed when I went to get a flashlight that Sunday and it finally computed that they’d all been grabbed up by those who aren’t members of the ‘Procrasti-Nation’ where I apparently reside.

When the winds began whipping up and slamming against the walls, I was enthralled by what those in the evacuation zones must be going through. At a time when power was (and still is) quite the luxury, I sat safely in a bedroom in the Bronx, and became obsessed with the pictures cataloging the event I found across social media and news outlets. Anyone one with an old school grandma knows that I probably shouldn’t have been on the computer and needed to be in the dark. Yet, I was fascinated and probably stared unblinkingly at my computer screen for ten hours straight, afraid to miss a moment of updates. The pictures told the story without having to endure the droning voice of anchormen, foolishly reporting from the scene.

As I sat listening to the dissipating wind force its way through neighborhood trees, I learned of the city’s suffering at Sandy’s hands. New York City and surrounding areas was decidedly in a state of emergency. Mayor Bloomberg had shut down the transit system and with Subways shut down, the majority of us who were fortunate enough not to be in the midst of all the devastation had no choice but to stand watch. Pictures of the flooded train stations seemed unreal, as did many of the photograhs which scrolled across our screens.

Con Edison continues to work towards full restoration of their services, and most of the city is in recovery mode. Thankfully, FEMA has already been in contact with many who experienced the grreatest losses. What becomes more evident with each trial the Big Apple faces is the spirit of the people is insurmountable. We will band together, regroup and rebuild again, as a community.