Twitter Danger #3 Revisited

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If you remember an article I wrote a little while back about the three hidden dangers of twitter, after yesterday, you were probably left wondering why Steve Rubel didn’t read it. In light of the events that occurred, it is probably a good idea to revisit Twitter danger (pitfall) #3.
In an unfortunate gaffe a few days ago, Steve Rubel Tweeted the A gem on his feed.

In this unfiltered ‘stream of conscious’ admission, Rubel simply observes that he gets a free subscription to PC Magazine but that he tosses it away without reading it. The problem is, Edelman Public Relations, the company he works for, helps set up meetings between companies and the magazine. As a result of this, Jim Louderback, editor-in-chief of PC Magazine responded with the following:

When I saw the post, a torrent of thoughts flashed through my head. The first, of course, was to ring up the guys in the basement and cancel his free subscription…
But then I started thinking about what this means for our relationship with Edelman. One of the company’s top execs had stated, in a public forum, that my magazine (and by extension, my audience) was useless to him. He wasn’t even interested in seeing whether we’d covered one of his clients. Did the rest of Edelman think like Steve? Were we no better than fishwrap to the entire company?
Should I instruct the staff to avoid covering Edelman’s clients? Ignore their requests for meetings, reviews and news stories? Blacklist the “” email domain in our exchange servers, effectively turning their requests into spam? If we’re not relevant to Edelman’s employees, then how could we be relevant to their clients?

If you recall danger #3, it was the sharing of too much information:

As the masses get addicted to Twitter, people will start texting all sorts of things to the service, only to later realize that they shared some information that they shouldn’t have. While you Twitter, just keep in mind that you are broadcasting whatever you’re doing to the whole world (or at least your friends and colleagues).

In light of this debacle, perhaps you will take my advice a little more seriously, considering the potential negative PR and consequences one improper Tweet can have for your company or brand.

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  • Nathania Johnson

    I saw some posts yesterday about the value Twitter could have had on Virginia Tech’s campus. It’s possible that the university could employ such technology for emergencies only. Students and staff could choose the way they would like to receive the email and the university could publish it to a variety of channels (IM, blog, etc).
    yes, twitter is dangerous but the danger lies with the user not the service.

  • Thomas Aylott

    Yes. Even smart people do really dumb things sometimes. Welcome to humanity 😉
    Think before you speak. Tripple-think before you broadcast your thoughts and archive them forever in a publicly searchable context!
    The first one has a better ring to it