Censorship and Social Media / PR

May 4th, 2009

flickr_photo_renchan_417720378_52b6990e4b_m.jpgSocial media censorship seems to be an oxymoron at first glance; after all, transparency and openness are key ingredients to social media.

Joan Stewart “the publicity hound” wrote not long ago about how she censors herself in social media.  She cites the horror stories we’ve all heard like the “Cisco Fatty” and the Memphis/FedEx incident.  All of which demonstrate valid reasons to use caution in social media. 

These folks would have been best served following Warren Buffet’s advice, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

I believe we should all use cautionary transparency – especially if you are in the marketing, communications, public relations arena.  But we can go one step further and say particularly if you are in media relations. 

The Vermont Agency of Human Resources defines media relations as “the act of involvement with the various media for the purpose of informing the public of the department’s mission, policies and practices in a positive, consistent and credible manner.”

Is this definition correct?  In order to communicate to the media in a positive, consistent and credible manner, do you censor yourself?  Should you?  Why or why not?  Let’s discuss!

2 Responses to “Censorship and Social Media / PR”

  1. What an interesting post, Tressa. I don’t know if “censorship” would be the right word to use – at least for me. I think you have to be truthful and up front, but you’ve also got to use your common sense and remember that once you put something out there, it will stay around – and possibly haunt you – forever. To me, it’s less about censorship than best practices, integrity, courtesy and common sense. Thanks for sparking the conversation!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Shonali. Your reminder that once you put something out there, it’s forever is spot on!

Leave a Reply