Business Development and Marketing a Priority for Small Business
January 27, 2011
#MediaMonday – Jeff Scott
January 31, 2011
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Twitter users have run amuck a couple times over the last two weeks.

First in Tucson on Jan. 8, tweets erroneously reported that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had died in the tragic attack at the “Congress on the Corner” event. Giffords is, in fact, alive.

Then, during and after the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 23, tweets were being fired-off about the health and heart of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Cutler does, in fact, have a knee injury that forced him out of the game.

Citizen journalists – if that is what we are to call them – have no boss, no editor and other than their own personal credibility, no reason to verify facts before tweeting. And we see the aftermath.

In Cutler’s case, there is no editorial board to guide tweets even though they can be sent with limited or no actual knowledge of the situation. One of the first things we teach our spokespeople during media training is, “Don’t speculate. If you don’t have all the facts, don’t guess or make them up.”

While Twitter has become a major communications tool – user beware!

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

2 Comments

  1. Alison says:

    Regarding Cutler, while that was Twitter run-amok for days, there was a happy Twitter-related story from that game as well. This week, after the Packers beat the Bears, it was announced that not all the Packer team would get to go to Texas for the big Superbowl photo. Fans (and the media) took to Twitter in a frenzy – a frenzy that caused change. So, while I do think the user should beware, I want to applaud the community of Tweeps for giving me the best pre-Superbowl “happy story” so far.

  2. David Landis says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Social media has its advantages, but it should never be construed to be fact-checked and accurate. Especially with social media, do your own homework and research before you believe what you read.

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