IMAGE PROBLEMS—ANOTHER REASON MEDIA TRAINING IS A GOOD IDEA
In the corporate world a social media post should never be a knee-jerk reaction to something. All the players should know what the corporate policy is for social media. You’d be surprised how many companies I have worked with have no written policy, and people are posting whatever they think is appropriate. Every media training workshop should include a discussion on social media best practices.
Celebrities don’t always think before they post. Here’s an example:
Actress and animal rights activist Kaley Cuoco is apologizing after a photo she posted on Instagram backfired. Her dogs are sitting on the American flag—never acceptable and especially inappropriate on the 4th of July. Celebs are generally quick to apologize, but why not take some time before posting to consider the consequences?
PBS’s image took a hit on Twitter after producers of “A Capitol Fourth” decided to use file (stock) footage of fireworks instead of the live fireworks. They later explained that they made the decision because clouds were obscuring the real thing. The backlash could have easily been avoided if they had only been upfront about using the file footage. It would have been simple to font the information on the screen throughout the broadcast. When I produced both local and national newscasts, we used our share of file footage on stories, but not without letting the audience know.
The Colorado Cub Scouts organization made some news recently but not the kind you’d expect. Parents were not pleased to learn that Hooters had sponsored a Cub Scout day camp. Photos of some of the boys with the waitresses were posted on Hooters’ website—without parental permission. This story was reported on social media and on traditional media and led to an apology by the organization. The Cubs Scouts and Hooters’ images don’t match. I can see how Hooters thought that sponsoring a day camp could garner some good PR. And the waitresses who volunteered their time can’t be faulted. But how did this idea ever get approved by the Cub Scouts organization?