When I’m advising people in how to get started with social media, I frequently tell them to just act naturally, like they would in a face-to-face interaction. Others have said you should act like you’re at a social gathering. Just as you wouldn’t walk into a crowded room and start talking incessantly about yourself, don’t do that virtually in social networks. It’s just not polite.
This hospital PR guy is making me rethink that advice, because if he acts online as he does in this encounter with a TV reporter, he’s going to be in serious trouble.
You really do need to see it to believe it would even be possible.
Thanks to Lisa Fields for the nudge on this one. I had seen something online about a PR guy repeatedly patting a reporter, but hadn’t checked it out.
Reading the YouTube video background it seems the reporter had shown up unannounced at a hospital town meeting to ask questions related to an investigative story. The reporter had said his calls asking for comment hadn’t been returned, so he decided to try to get the questions answered at the public meeting.
If sending unwanted email messages to people you don’t know is called spam, this seems like an in-person, hands-on version. Manual spam.
Given the worldwide attention it’s receiving, it once again shows that badly handling an issue can multiply the negative effects. If they had answered the questions earlier, and if the story had come out that funds were being misused, I’m sure we never would have heard about it. Just a local TV story in San Francisco. But instead you can read more here. And here. And here. And here. And here.
On the bright side, if the PR gig doesn’t work out (and it doesn’t seem promising right now), Mr. Slavin could always seek employment in the TSA secondary screening line.