It often seems as if nothing is off limits when it comes to late-night comedy, but Conan O’Brien might wish he had drawn the line before he took a jab at Newark, New Jersey. He made the following comment on his show: “The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey wants to set up a city-wide program to improve residents’ health. The healthcare program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark.” Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, responded with this YouTube video.
A lot of public information officers (PIOs) struggle with how best to handle social media due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Hopefully the actions taken by Newark will serve as a good case study and pave the way for other government agencies to participate in the conversation. I know I’ll continue to follow the tweets, videos and social media efforts of Mayor Booker, the City of Newark, and Newark International Airport (EWR) as these government outlets effectively take on social media and even network television as needed.
Mayor Booker tweeted that it was a “joke” – accompanied by this cheeky tweet: “just got call from the White House. Pres is inviting Conan & I to come have a beer & try 2 settle this. This could be a teachable moment.” I hope for Conan’s sake he can make the peace. If the tri-state winter precipitation is anything like the spring and summer this year I would hate to be banned from EWR for my travels.
If the City of Newark were your client, how would you have advised them after the Conan comment? Do you feel like the Mayor and City of Newark are demonstrating good media relations/public relations use of social media? I always appreciate your feedback and know that other BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas blog followers benefit from your feedback when you post here.