Thursday, July 28, 2011

Be Decent at All Times

     The death of singer Amy Winehouse is undoubtedly a tragedy.  It's something the world has seen before; immense talent, uncontrollable addictions.  This blog is not the forum for discussing the former.  What we should be interested in for business social media is the incredible, INCREDIBLE  Microsoft goof in their twitter stream.  Here it is -
This is unbelievable, and Microsoft can do as much damage control as they want to - but it's kind of like trying to avoid the iceberg after you've already hit it and are sinking.  WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?  Remember Amy Winehouse by purchasing an album from our site?
     We have touched on this before - your tweets, your blogs, your facebook posts - who are you sending them to?  How will they be received?  In this case, someone at Microsoft took a tragedy and tried to make a buck off of it.  Not unheard of, of course.  The difference in this case is it was on a wider scale than the guy hawking t-shirts down on the corner.
     The point is, whoever is in charge of your outgoing public information needs to always stop and think before sending anything.  While your marketing studies may indicate that what you are sending is the right thing to do, sometimes it's not.  You just never know how the public is going to react.  Anyone here ever served on a jury?  Maybe the prosecution made a slam-dunk case, but the jury became offended by the prosecuting attorney's closing arguments, or any number of other things, and voted to acquit the defendant.  It happens.
     Be proactive, by all means.  Be professionally reactive when you have to (and someday, despite your best efforts, you will).
     But please. be decent at all times.