Gini Dietrich

Politicians Trying to Control What Is Said Online

By: Gini Dietrich | November 29, 2011 | 

Let’s talk politics today, shall we?

OK, not really politics, but the politicians who don’t know how to use the web appropriately.

In one corner we have Mike Winder, West Valley City (Utah) Mayor, who was using a false identity to write news stories that were published in at least three different publications.

In the other corner we have Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor, who demanded an apology from a high school student because of a disparaging tweet she sent about him.

Let’s see who will win the biggest moron award. 

Mike Winder

The Utah Mayor used pseudonym Richard Burwash to write news articles about the city he governs, saying he wanted to highlight “good news” after cutbacks in coverage of local government.

He admitted writing more than a dozen articles under the byline, that for more than two years appeared in the daily Deseret News, KSL-TV’s website and the Oquirrh Times, a community weekly.

He even quoted himself, as Mayor, and used anonymous city employee sources in his stories.

When asked about his motive behind doing this, he said he wanted:

To try to restore balance in the Deseret News‘ coverage of his city, claiming the paper focused too much on crime and not enough on “good news” in his community.

He also defended himself by saying other American such as Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton all used pen names.

No matter. PRSA condemned this practice by saying:

The basic tenets of ethical communications practices, as addressed in the PRSA Code of Ethics, require that those representing organizations or governments serve the public interest by advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information.

Sam Brownback

The Kansas governor’s office had a field day when high school student, Emma Sullivan, was visiting the capitol last week and tweeted:

Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.

Seeing the tweet, Brownback’s communication director called the principal at Sullivan’s school, who demanded she issue an apology.

The thing is…Sullivan had only 65 followers at the time. And, until her visit to the capitol, she tweeted only about Edward and Jacob and Justin Beiber. Typical teenage stuff.

Now she has more than 9,000 followers and is tweeting quotes from Ghandi, things about free speech, and thanks for all of the support she’s getting.

Turns out her tweet does fall within free speech and Gov. Brownback issued an apology to Sullivan for their “overreaction.”

The Lessons

This web thing is a hard one to figure out. You lose control of what people will say and do.

But the thing is, you never really had control. You just had the perception of control because you couldn’t hear and read what people were saying. People have always been people. Now we just have a bullhorn for our messages.

Clearly Winder never should have published news stories under a pen name. By quoting himself and anonymous city employees, he knew he was doing something wrong and unethical. Not to mention not transparent, which is one of the platforms he’ll run on as he eyes the Mayor seat for Salt Lake County.

The governor’s office should be monitoring what is being said about him online, and bravo for being on top of it. But to make such a big deal over one tweet from a teenager who has 65 followers? That’s a ton of time wasted…and a ton of the governor’s time that could have been spent, oh I don’t know, running the state.

You can create owned media, but put your own stinking name on it. You should be monitoring the web for what is said about you, your company, and your products or services. But please, please, please have a strategy. Without it you’ll overreact to a teenager with 65 followers.

Oh and the biggest moron award? I say Mayor Winder receives it because he is still unapologetic.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Well, you know how I feel about politicians and politics. I think that as social media increases in adoption among the masses, and for those using the tools for marketing, politicians will most certainly be the last to actually “get it”. Morons Anonymous is calling.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller It goes against everything they do because it’s not a controlled message. Heaven forbid someone not like them or not report good stories all the time. It’s called real life.

      • @ginidietrich And that’s the problem. Everything is controlled. They have to stay on message. Show me the politician that lives their life out online…in a real way, and there’s a good chance they’ll get my vote!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller This is the debate I have with Mr. D all the time. He thinks it’s just not feasible.

        • @ginidietrich I’ve told this story before, probably even on here, but I know a company that was working with a candidate somewhere in your area. They took control of his Twitter account because he wasn’t staying on message. What was he doing? tweeting about going to the grocery store, about going to his kids soccer game. they want every tweet to be a nice, on message sound-bite.

          I’m sorry, but he was right, and they were wrong. It CAN be done. I think Mayor Booker in Newark is one person who does a decent job at it.

        • @KenMueller@ginidietrich Eugene DePasquale here in York is a great example. Nationally, Cory Brooker.

        • @jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich I think you and Mr. D should do a video or write a blog post together about this topic. A bit of a debate!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller I get too pissed off about it. It’s not a good debate.

        • @ginidietrich ooh. that makes it even better!

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller Ha!

        • @jasonkonopinski@KenMueller@ginidietrich Booker does a very good job on the social space and even used Twitter to help shovel out some granny’s driveway.

        • @jeffespo@jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich He does that on a regular basis. His presence is rather spotty, but then again, he is the Mayor of a rather large, troubled city. But I saw him speak back in August, and he has the “mindset” in all that he does…so he gets it

        • @KenMueller@jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich He spoke at my wife’s law school graduation and sparked up a conversation with his office and the team that runs his social. They are very passionate and it comes from him. The spottiness can be excused but its still interesting to me to see how he uses Twitter to drive actions.

        • @jeffespo@KenMueller@jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich during the healthcare debate I followed many US Reps on both sides. The Democrats often tweeted that they were hosting online Town Halls to get feedback or here is information for their followers. Often I felt they were tweeting vs a staffer. The GOP it seemed were all staffers. And including the current House Leader posted many tweets that the Dems were out to kill Grandma and death panels and communist take over of the US (I am being serious here). And I thought didn’t they know Twitter was public? And do the Reps even know what was being tweeted with their name on it?

        • ginidietrich

          @HowieSPM I wonder which side of the aisle you fall?

  • I think we need to clarify one point on the Brownback thing. The communications director is really to blame her for making a monumental mountain out of an itty bitty molehill.

    I’ve seen some very good use of SM by politicians both on the national and local stages.

    • ginidietrich

      @jasonkonopinski Sure, but it’s still his office and he still has to take responsibility (which he did). It’s no different than leading a company. If someone on my team screws up, I take responsibility for it. I never blame them. Ever. It’s called leadership.

      • @ginidietrich I don’t disagree with you at all. The comm director definitely jumped the gun.

        • @jasonkonopinski@ginidietrich much like high school kids this one was a premature…

  • BestRoofer

    I’m just wondering if there is any chance that Social Media will help us get better politicians in office? We could really use some right now!

    • ginidietrich

      @BestRoofer It really would be nice, but the people who are in their communication departments don’t yet see the value…or understand it. My industry is in serious trouble right now.

  • I give the biggest momo award to Brownback. The main reason is that he took on a kid, and lost. Seriously that chick took him down and is laughing all the way to a celebrity show appearance. {{Stop Laughing}} at me you know it is going to happen.In the case of Widner, while being a joke on journalistic integrity, it further highlights the blur of lines between what is and what is not journalism. Everyone is a content producer nowadays. The real question with him is what are the repercussions. The CEO of Whole Foods used a false name on message board years ago and was fined, will something similar happen to this chucklehead? Who knows. On one hand I don’t mind what he did as we all know that good news doesn’t sell on the 10 O’Clock News, but then again someone should have been there to step in and say homeboy slow your roll.

    • ginidietrich

      @jeffespo Yeah, the kid definitely taught the school and the governor’s office about Twitter and online usage AND free speech.

      While I agree the lines are blurred and everyone is a content producer, I’m pretty sure you know the difference between writing a story quoting yourself under a pen name and just working with the media to tell some of the good stories, too. Maybe I have higher standards for my home state. I’m assuming the guy is LDS, which means he definitely was raised to know the difference between right and wrong.

      • @ginidietrich I am assuming LDS is a code word so I will not pry.

        • ginidietrich

          @jeffespo Ha! Mormon (Latter Day Saints).

        • @ginidietrich@jeffespo as the Mayors Doctor I recommend LSD to fix his problems. Here is his prescription. He can phone it in to Rite Aid.

  • If Winder is worried about the lack of positive events in the local media, maybe he should focus on running the city and genuinely creating positive events, rather than making them up. *Sigh* Some people…

    • ginidietrich

      @smccollo It’s kind of like the PR firm in California that created the news site and published stories on behalf of their clients. That seems like so much more work than just doing your job.

  • ifdyperez

    This stuff really gets to me. And SOPA… oh, don’t get me started. Grrr.

    • ginidietrich

      @ifdyperez I kind of want to get you started now!

      • AlisonRisso

        @ginidietrich@ifdyperez Hi Gini, I sit next to Ifdy, and you just got her started on SOPA. Thanks a lot.

        • ifdyperez

          @AlisonRisso@ginidietrich LOL… sorry!

        • ginidietrich

          @AlisonRisso LOL!!! That, literally, made me laugh out loud. Ha!

  • Gini,

    Actually, prior to the Internet politicians did have control over what and how information was disseminated. “Want a five minute exclusive with the Mayor/Governor/Senator/candidate? Don’t go printing that negative stuff as you have in the past.”

    With the onset of online social interaction and SEO there are a number of paid tweeters/FBers/bloggers and wikiwriters trying to design a history more compatible with philosophy than truth and simultaneously co-opt search engines. Hey, Texas is editing text books to bend generations of minds. Besides, the stuff you describe is often done as red herring, either to keep from talking about important stuff or with the understanding that many of the electorate are too lazy, stupid or partisan to seek the truth. Some/all of the crap goes unchallenged.

    As for the moron of your post, I disagree. Winder is a kid, still wet behind the ears. Brownback is a former US Senator who probably has a standing campaign and SM staff. Someone should have fleshed this out. Giving the girl an invite to meet the Gov. and discuss differences (I suck young lady? How so?) would have been so much better than shooting a fly with an elephant gun. Make your critics your ambassadors, right?

    • ginidietrich

      @barryrsilver I simply meant control over what people are saying – not over what is printed. In some cases, they still have control over that. But I hear over and over again, “I don’t want to get online because I can’t control what people say.” The truth of the matter is that you’ve never been able to control what people say. You just now have the opportunity to join the discussion. Or, as you say, make your critics your ambassadors.

  • Considering Brownback doesn’t believe in Climate Change or Evolution he always wins the moron award. But based on these two events I agree Winder does. Especially since as Mayor why isn’t he just penning rosy stories under his own name for the paper? Or find another forum to cover the good stuff. As long as what he is writing is truthful I think it would be well received.

  • Considering Brownback doesn’t believe in Climate Change or Evolution he always wins the moron award. But based on these two events I agree Winder does. Especially since as Mayor why isn’t he just penning rosy stories under his own name for the paper? Or find another forum to cover the good stuff. As long as what he is writing is truthful I think it would be well received.

    But here is something about twitter. The more people you follow the less chance you will see a specific tweet. So the chances of something going viral among a closed network of users is higher actually. I found this out when a few people would always win a trivia game for a client. I checked them out and they only followed 20 to 50 accounts so they saw all the tweets. And their tweet count was really high 10,000+ which proved to me that small networks exist within Twitter for people chatting with friends.

    BTW she now has 12,000 followers. She needs to be in a wheat thins commercial..ahem vinnywarren

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM That’s a great point about doing a blog or some other owned content about the rosy stories. That would be cool!

    • @HowieSPM That would be Mr Moron I believe…..:)

  • joecardillo

    He’s not a politician but this conversation sort of reminded me of the Syracuse Men’s BB coach Jim Boeheim and his before and after comments about his assistant coach’s inappropriate and most likely illegal activity.

    Even in 2011 it’s still surprising that these high profile figures don’t seem to have the slightest bit of social media training (or, I guess in Winder’s case any media training at all). How unorganized are these institutions, political offices, companies, etc… The only good news is that means plenty of job growth representing them =P

    • ginidietrich

      @joecardillo So many people still think this is a fad…or it’s for the kids. Clearly Brownback and his office found out how much for the kids it really is.

  • Leon

    G’Day Gini,

    When I was in my teens-a long time ago- i became quite interested in politics. The family had a long association with the Labor Party-read Democratic in the US-and in my adolescent innocence I was discovering that politicians weren’t as noble as they made themselves out to be.

    Sensing my frustration, my father said to me one day, “Don’t worry son. They’re only politicians.”

    The older I get I, like Mark Twain, realize what a smart bloke my father was.

    I vote for Governor Sam. Anyone who takes themselves so seriously has gotta be a dill.

    Make sure you have fun



    • ginidietrich

      @Leon They’re only politicians is right. You father was a smart man.

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  • BethMosher

    I say the moron award goes to neither the Gov or the Mayor but rather to that communications director who should have known better than to make such a huge deal over nothing. Now it’s national news and you have the Governor apologizing to the teen for crying out loud. Not quite the way they thought this would turn out, but if the communications director was worth his salt, he would have foreseen this mess play out, or at least recognized that making a fuss over someone with 65 followers isn’t worth it.

    • Scott217

      @BethMosher I agree, and wonder if Brownback even knew she contacted the group. I also wonder who made the demand she apologize- her, the student group or the school administrators. I would take a guess that the student group got a little worried their funding might get cut if they ticked-off the governor. What a way to turn a nothing tweet into a huge dust-up; and on a holiday weekend, no less. (ps. His spokesperson is a her, Sherriene Jones-Sontag (

      • ginidietrich

        @Scott217@BethMosher Even if Brownback didn’t know she contacted the school, it’s still his position to take responsibility. She’s acting on behalf of him. I was happy to see him apologize, but like the high school student said, it would have been nice if he’d done it in person.

        • Scott217

          @ginidietrich@Scott217@BethMosher I agree that he’s the one that hits the airwaves. Ideally, right after local media picked up the story. I just wonder how Jones-Sontag started playing telephone. Was it an off-handed remark, a really PO’d phone call, etc.? And, Emma’s a teenager for Pete’s sake. If we spent that much time getting honked-off at what they said, our brains would explode.

        • BethMosher

          @Scott217 @ginidietrich Thanks for the correction on the spokesperson – I don’t know why I thought she was a he. But, I agree with all above comments that the mayor acted extremely unethically. To which I say – let’s not be limiting – moron awards all around!

    • ginidietrich

      @BethMosher Um, the communications director is female. And, you’re right, shame on her.

    • jenzings

      Maybe the comms director checked the teen’s Klout score, and decided it would be fine to reprimand her because she wasn’t an “influencer.”

      😉 @BethMosher

      • ginidietrich

        @jenzings HAHAHAHAH!!!!

        • jenzings

          I’m only half-kidding there. Her score was a 17 a few days ago. Today it is 65. Now tell me: is she really an influencer? Yes, she’s impacted the news for a few days. But is it sustainable? @ginidietrich

        • ginidietrich

          @jenzings No, that’s ridiculous. That’s why I have such issue with Klout and the other influence tools.

  • Uh oh, you mean I was supposed to be using my real name for my blog. At first, I didn’t think much about it because I thought I could stay under the radar; you know, liked the time I faked my death to collect the insurance money but was discovered when I ran for mayor in Myprivate, Idaho; I just never expected to reach these lofty heights. I’m afraid if I tell everyone now I’m really Arnold Schwarzenegger they might not react to kindly in light of all the allegations floating about……….I’m sure skypulsemedia can appreciate where I’m coming from because I think he uses an alias as well……..

    The real problem is there is no control so you hope there is a least some civility and at least a grain of truth to what you see and read. Unfortunately, it will always be hit or miss in this arena unless we are hangin’ at reputable joints like this, huh?

    • @bdorman264 I wonder about the people who are use pen names like Dear Abby just so they can become famous columnists.

      The Communications Manager for Brownback just proved that they have really questionable judgment. Got to wonder about them.


      • ginidietrich

        @TheJackB@bdorman264 Or Ann Landers…

    • ginidietrich

      @bdorman264 Ha! Even I make mistakes. I always try to put myself in the shoes of the “offenders” when I’m blogging about them. It’s called critical thinking.

      • @ginidietrich@bdorman264 SO how did those Moron Shoes fit?

        • @KenMueller@ginidietrich I don’t know about Gini, but they fit me like a glove………….

  • Having just come off of running a campaign, I have to say that this is a tricky thing at best. Controlling the message is very important in a political campaign because there is a definite end-date – no chance to redeem yourself after November. Also, since there are often two contenders and not a truly free market, there is a chance to go negative – Coke vs Pepsi – so you have your opponent’s stuff to respond to. Otherwise innocent “consumer” complaints are very likely plants by the other side.

    Now, having said that, I don’t think either of these guys are in the middle of a campaign. But there is one more thing that makes Winder’s schtick far more damning IMHO – there may be laws against it if there is a campaign running and/or he has a valid campaign committee in place (which I’ll bet he does). Not knowing the laws of Utah I can’t say for sure, but in Minnesota his actions could be violations of the truth in campaign laws in many ways and could result in very large fines and a huge investigation that would result in months of bad press.

    So political campaigns are different, but these guys were just being jerks generally. Brownback gets a special award for making a big issue out of something he had no business elevating in the first place. Mayor Winder did something that probably happens a lot – but staff takes care of it. So I think that while they both have levels of stupidity I think from a political standpoint Brownback’s sin was even worse – unless Winder violated campaign laws, in which case he’s a total idiot.

    • ginidietrich

      @wabbitoid I think this ruined any chance for Winder to run. From what I can tell he had his sights set on Salt Lake County, which is the largest county in Utah. I doubt the Utah community will elect him after all of this.

  • jenzings

    IMHO, the “moron” award goes to the adult male who knew full well that writing articles under a false name was wrong. Brownback can only be faulted for hiring overzealous staffers.

    • ginidietrich

      @jenzings That’s what I think, too, but not everyone agrees with us.

      • jenzings

        It’s easier to dislike Brownback because he’s a higher profile public figure. The “David v. Goliath” nature of this is what has caused it to become an issue–Gov’s office picking on a teen. (Honestly, I even think the teen was a bit snotty–her comment wasn’t particularly lucid or critical of policy, etc. it was just of the “he sucks, ha ha ha” type thing. So from where I sit, it was a pretty worthless Tweet, and not worth the hullabaloo surrounding it.) @ginidietrich

        So on the one hand, we have an issue where a teen posts something that a staffer feels is disrespectful, and it spins out of control due to a lack of understanding of the potential impact. I’ve worked in politics, and I can tell you that staffers can be an almost absurdly loyal bunch. What would be far more interesting to me would be to see how the Governor’s staff would have reacted to an actual critique of the governor’s policies. I do think there’s a thread of Midwestern manners running through this.

        On the other hand, we have a grown man making stuff up to bolster his image. I’m no fan of Brownback’s, but this is pretty cut-and-dried for me.

        • joecardillo

          @jenzings@ginidietrich Couldn’t agree more. Perhaps summed up as: Brownback/staff did something stupid, Winder did something stupid and dishonest. =)

  • PattiRoseKnight

    I ususally stay out of political conversations but these two are true morons! And they say Chicago politiciations are crooks! Unreal!

    • ginidietrich

      @PattiRoseKnight I think maybe you have to be a crook to be a politician.

  • Clearly, Emma was correct in her statement. The Governor and his staff have proved that. And clearly, the truth hurts. That. is all.

    Oh, wait, one other thing. “Let’s see who will win the biggest moron award” made me laugh out loud.

    • @Lisa Gerber I think we should have a biggest moron at Spin Sucks contest (not you guys, but those of us who comment. Clearly you guys aren’t morons….well…mostly)

      • @KenMueller@Lisa Gerber Now that’s a contest I could win….

        • ginidietrich

          @bdorman264@KenMueller@Lisa Gerber Now how, on earth, would we choose a winner for that?! I mean, it’s clearly Bill. But that’s not really a fair contest.

        • @ginidietrich@KenMueller@Lisa Gerber That’s just an unfair advantage; it’s a shame everybody else is playing for second place……….

      • glenn_ferrell

        @KenMueller@Lisa Gerber Definitely thought provoking… doesn’t really provoke me to write anything… just to think 🙂

  • I agree, the Mayor is the bigger moron. But I also think Emma Sullivan’s principal should be in the running (at least get a honorable mention) for calling her into the principals office and demanding she write a apology letter, even setting a deadline to do so. He way overstepped his boundaries, her Twitter account and comments about a politician have nothing to do with him or his school. He had no right to attempt to discipline her.

    • ginidietrich

      @sydcon_mktg I can imagine getting that phone call was a hard one. He’s probably freaking that they’ll cut his grants or something. He had every right to hear her side of the story, but not to demand she issue an apology.

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  • They are both morons.Did you see something similar happened when that Dallas Cowboys cheerleader got knocked over by a player as he was running out of bounds. She did two cute, HARMLESS tweets and the Cowboys yanked her off twitter. skypulsemedia would agree that the New York Giants are not only a better football team but handle social media better. The NY Giants are very active on Twitter and have a very busy Facebook page as well.

    Back to the dumb politicians. One is a bully and one is a moron. They are almost interchangeable in their arrogance and levels of stupidity. The one from Utah wins only because he was publishing fake news stories. Did he really think he would get away with that?

    And the other one, bullying a high school kid – WTF? That’s all I got on that one.

    • ginidietrich

      @NancyD68 I did see that…and considered adding it in here, but I had plenty of fodder with the politicians.

      • @ginidietrich They could have taken that “ball” (pardon the pun) and ran with it and made it into something cute and memorable. They, because they are the Dallas Cowboys and are run by an egomaniac, can’t possibly have any fun. Such a shame.

        • ginidietrich

          @NancyD68 It actually was the NFL, not the Cowboys. They don’t allow anyone associated with the teams to tweet without approval.

        • @ginidietrich As a Giant fan, I feel the need to mock the Cowboys whenever the opportunity strikes. Boo NFL! Bad move!

  • glenn_ferrell

    Way to go Emma Sullivan 🙂 Gini – (speaking of politicians desire to control the web) congratulations — you got through this entire article without mentioning SOPA (what a rat’s nest of issues that is.)

    • ginidietrich

      @glenn_ferrell HAHAHAH! But the comments didn’t make it without mention.

  • LeeTawil

    I agree with you about Governor Brownback. There are always going to be people who don’t agree with your political views. To make a big thing out of a comment made by a high schooler is definitely a case of not understanding how social media is used.

    Having said that, I think that the decision by the governor to not pursue further action is the correct decision. He realized he was wrong and is now owning up to it.

    • ginidietrich

      @LeeTawil I agree. I like that he took responsibility and said they overreacted. That’s why he didn’t win my moron award.

  • Okay, not a PR pro like many here, but if I had a Ten Commandments of PR, one of them would be, you don’t swat mosquitos with a bazooka. On the Kansas issue…From 65 followers to national press, all courtesy of elevating something that should have just been ignored. To me, it’s not even a free speech issue, it’s just, as you point out, dumb PR.

    • ginidietrich

      @adamtoporek Or just dumb.

  • Excellent post, Gini. I’m really glad to see you’ve given credit to Brownback’s office for apologizing after the fact, too. We’ve been discussing this over on @Neicolec ‘s blog, where I explain why I’m not a fan of Ms. Sullivan’s. I mentor young people who have valid concerns about the way free speech is afforded to some but not all in the public school setting. My advice to them is to use social media and other opportunities to speak their minds, but always with respect for those who disagree with them; to be pillars of good character and solid integrity, so their opponents can’t dismiss them as being hypocrites (ad hominem arguments); and to build bridges to dialogue by using language that keeps their opponents from going on the defensive. Think of the Topeka, Kansas church that pickets funerals. They’re exercising their free speech rights as well, but we don’t applaud them for doing so, or deride those who are trying to stop them. What Ms. Sullivan said certainly doesn’t go to that extreme, but the principle is the same. I believe when we talk about free speech, we also need to talk about the values of civility and respect for others. What do you think?

    • By the way, I followed the story trail on Emma Sullivan further than just the initial story, because I work with teens who have experienced far more “shutting down” than she did, so I’m sure my perspective is born out of that experience and the additional stories I read. I definitely applaud and defend the right to free speech for Ms. Sullivan and everyone else, and believe we really have to be vigilant right now.

    • ginidietrich

      @NEMultimedia I wanted to keep the light on the politicians in this post because I think there is a lot business leaders can learn from the terrible way this was handled.

      But I do agree there should be civility and respect when disagreeing. I’m a big believer in attacking ideas and not people. If she were my child, I’d have a coronary about what she said on Twitter. Sure, you can be bored or not like what he has to say. And tweet about it. But do so in a respectful way. Wow…this is an entire new blog post topic!

      • @ginidietrich@NEMultimedia I actually used your idea of attacking the idea, and not people in a recent post about how we as consumers should act online. I was surprised how many people found fault with what I had to say, mostly in comments left on LinkedIn. But seriously, civility is a lost art. Hope you don’t mind me linking to my post here…

        • ginidietrich

          @KenMueller People are funny. It’s like my Google+ blog post. I was attacking the idea of charging to teach people how to use the social network when it was less than a month old. But because there were only two companies charging, they both took it as my attacking them. Some battles you just don’t win.

        • @ginidietrich Some people are funny. some are just plain stupid.

        • @KenMueller@ginidietrich Excellent post, Ken! I’m glad you shared it here. I’ll be sharing it tomorrow on our Facebook Page. Where can I find it on LinkedIn, so I can see what the dissenters had to say?

        • @NEMultimedia@ginidietrich yikes. I shared it in about 12 or so groups on Linked In and I dont remember where the comments were. But they were all along the lines of “If a company is gonna be on Social media they should expect people to do this because it’s the fastest way.” and yeah, i think we need to be ready for it, but it doesn’t mean that we, as consumers, should go that direction right away. i’ll see if i can find the comments.

  • Loved this article and love to see Pr and politics discussed. A while ago I wrote an article called 5 Social Media Tips for Politicians-

    Our politicians in the UK are a thousand leagues behind those in the USA

    • ginidietrich

      @YasinAkgun I read your blog post yesterday where you linked to us. But there was no way to comment. So I’ll say thank you here.

  • Here, here…”you never really had control.” The difference now…you (sorry, not YOU, but the general you) think you do because you created a FB page or a Twitter account and therefore control that space. What has really happened is you’ve just provided people with an additional, public way to share their opinions about you and it’s beyond your control. What is within your control is how it’s managed, monitored and addressed. Learning to tell the difference between the mountains and the molehills is a skill; knowing when and how to climb the real mountain is an art.

  • MatchesMalone

    It follows that Emma Sullivan should get first runner up, because from the content of her tweet, she can’t decide whether the Governor sucks or blows….

    • glenn_ferrell

      @MatchesMalone Only the words seem inconsistent, certainly not the imagery.

      • MatchesMalone

        It was my intent to generate a laugh or a chuckle or even a guffaw. I do agree that the imagery is consistent. @glenn_ferrell

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