Lack of social media presence is bad PR call for federal government

10 Oct
Source: outsidebeltway.com

Source: outsidebeltway.com

Everyone in the broadcasting world knows that dead air is a sign of loss—loss of signal, loss of the technology and loss of control.

The abandoning of official government Twitter and Facebook accounts during the current government shutdown is like radio static in the social media world.

Going radio silent during a crisis is a big no-no in crisis communication, and PR professionals and some media outlets are taking the government to task about best practices.

“Like any successful business, the government needs to have a top notch crisis strategy in place,” said Gabe Shaoolian, CEO and Founder of Blue Fountain Media. “The worst thing to do when your customers (or in this case the American people) are upset and nervous is to cut off communications. It’s the same as telling people you don’t care.

1. Never shut down communications during crisis. It tells your employees and staff you don’t care. It also threatens the future rankings of your digital properties as well (the SEO and online reputational damage could carry forward for many months, or even for years.)

2. Never underestimate the power of the underground communications network – especially in this day and age. If you are not in control of your communications someone else will take over (namely, the unsatisfied customers or employees who take to the internet and create negative impressions  or gossip about you in a variety of ways).”

Source: abcnews.go.com

Source: abcnews.go.com

At least 11 members of the House and Senate have taken to their Twitter accounts to tell Americans who are on mandatory furlough that as long as they aren’t getting paid, they will also forgo their own salaries or give them to charity.

“The government shutdown comes with peril to both political Parties.  Both need to be savvy PR wise.  But ultimately one side or the other must prevail when that happens, a whole new PR strategy will be needed for both Parties,” said David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC.

For most people, the shutdown has only heightened their opinions of certain political players in the game. Blame debates are taking place in the court of social media.

“Social media channels are very powerful and important to us. We thrive on learning and staying up to date with the day-to-day gossip and the latest news. In this day and age, we control the social media we want to use, and block the rest of it out of our lives.  As a result, the government shutdown crisis is an example of just how big of a role social media plays in our lives. Luckily, social media comes to our rescue by summarizing the issue using very few words, something all Americans can understand, therefore making it not only addicting, but also demanding,” said Justine Barretta, of CPR Communications.

We don’t know the short and long term domestic and international consequences, yet, but social media is playing a huge part.

Who will the PR winners and losers be at the end of this? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: