Social Media: The Next Frontier for Yellow Journalism Embroils Chick-Fil-A, Ford and Celeb Boutique
Of course the best way to avoid negative publicity is to be smart about what is shared on your corporate page. This includes running a litmus test check on every post before it is shared. If the answer is negative to any of the following questions, don't share the content:
- Does it provide a positive view of our brand?
- Does it reflect our brand's value?
- Does it provide value to our customers and prospects?
- Does it advance our brand?
It's very easy to get caught up in the drama du jour on the social channel and chime in with something that doesn't pass the litmus test. Ryan Holiday wrote a book, "Trust Me, I'm Lying" to expose how easy it is to manipulate the media. He used HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to provide false information and gain top media coverage. Peter Shankman, founder of HARO, took offense and fired off an angry blog post. It wasn't long before the controversy grew legs. When something like this happens, it is only natural for people to want to share their thoughts. Those who represent companies in the public forum should always run the litmus test BEFORE posting their opinion.
Does this tweet pass the litmus test or should it have been shared privately? After all, what's the harm in sharing an opinion even if you are representing a company? Before you answer, look at the second image in the media player.
Are the readers associating the tweet with Scott Monty, the individual? Or, are they seeing it as a message from Ford? Now, think about Chick-fil-A and the Dan Cathy controversy for a moment. It began with Cathy sharing his opinion.