Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Technology Changes. Wisdom Doesn't.

CNN has a story about being careful what you Tweet after someone from ABC News Tweeted that the President of the United States called Kanye West a jackass. I know that many companies are wrestling with Social Media policies and how to incorporate the new technology into the workplace; I'm helping some of my clients write those policies.

But this isn't a Twitter or Social Media problem, this is a Media Training 101 mistake. Seriously, the President knows better. I advise my media training clients that if you don't want something printed or broadcast, DON'T SAY IT. That advice hasn't changed since I started media training in the early 90s.

Plus, the President told people that his remark was off the record AFTER he made it. Sorry, Mr. President, it doesn't work that way. I wrote a piece called 10 Things You Should Never Say to a Reporter. One of them is: "That last part was off the record."

The debate about whether the ABC News employee should have sent out the Tweet is a subject for another post. But, I hope everyone understands it wasn't the Tweet that made the President less "presidential."

As for wisdom? My grandfather used to tell me (a lot), "Never miss a golden opportunity to keep your mouth closed."

Bill Salvin

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