Naturally I follow all of the news outlets in my region. It’s important I keep tabs not only on what’s going on but what clients, competitors and others in the field are being mentioned. One of the things I’m most shocked by is the fact that it’s quite obvious some of these outlets don’t have a set social media management plan.
Recently we had a bad storm roll through town and one of the local TV stations posted this to Facebook.
Yes, it was a pretty bad power outage so you could say that they were trying to empathize with their audience. This is the wrong way to empathize. Rule number one, or at least one of the top 50 rules, in PR and reputation management; never let them see you sweat. I don’t care if you had people there holding hand written cue cards for the 6:30 news team and they had to bust out the old chalk board map of the region to do the weather, shut up and do the news. That’s what you get paid to do, and you’re supposedly professionals at it.
Keeping close tabs on the post after seeing it go up, they received some negative comments and didn’t respond to or delete them. Another huge management no-no. (It should go without saying that you respond not delete..but apparently some people still haven’t gotten the memo.)
I’ve watched this TV station’s news feed very closely since then and one thing is obvious. These posts and tweets aren’t going through one person. Multiple people at the station have access to this account, and you can tell. There is not one unified voice and apparently they can say whatever they please.
I’m not saying that you can only have one person posting for a business or organization, what I am saying is you need to train your staff on the tone, language and over all voice that the organization has. Are you fun and playful, or hard hitting? Are off the cuff posts about things unrelated to the field allowed or not? All posts should be vetted through a team or a single point person to ensure that folks are speaking in the appropriate voice.
Here are a couple other posts I saw from the same station that shouldn’t have been posted:
And this one, really? This is how you’re going to approach one of the biggest debates currently going on throughout the country?
That my friends, is exactly how not to run any social media outlet for yourself, your boss, your business, Tard the Grumpy Cat (ok, he can pretty much say or do whatever) or whoever else may be paying you to represent them online.