Tags: newman | benghazi | missouri

No Place for Jokes on Benghazi

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Tuesday, 20 May 2014 12:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Twitter may be the accepted forum for off the cuff flippant comments, but an inappropriate joke can — and will — lead to an ongoing public relations catastrophe, especially for politicians.

Radical Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman, a Democrat, is not known for holding back. She is well-known among the political media in the Show Me state for outlandish comments, and even more gasp inducing props, so its not surprising that she would tweet inappropriately.

The day before speaking on the House floor, Newman tweeted that she was “thinking about saying ‘Benghazi’ while debating tomorrow just to see what happens.” Almost immediately, the Twitterverse exploded with emotions ranging from disdain to ALL CAPS rage. While Newman claimed to be expressing frustration that the “other side” will not drop the issue, the tweet was insensitive to the families of the four Americans killed.

While traditionally the Democrats have been much better on social media, when it comes to messages online, context and intent rarely matter.

This is a vital lesson all public brands must learn. Regardless of the context in which you say, do, or write something, the Internet will strip away that context, and create consequences you could not possibly anticipate. On both sides of the political aisle, public figures must be more circumspect in this brave new world. Self editing now will help you avoid a PR mess tomorrow.

Of course, not joking about issues which resulted in dead American soldiers can also help the issue be avoided.

Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.

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The day before speaking on the House floor, Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman tweeted that she was “thinking about saying ‘Benghazi’ while debating tomorrow just to see what happens.” Almost immediately, the Twitterverse exploded with disdain.
newman, benghazi, missouri
319
2014-00-20
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 12:00 PM
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