Learning from “uh,oh” Twitter experiences – SCN Encourager 8/30/2013

Wise people learn from the experiences of others.

Especially from those experiences that didn’t turn out so well.

Fortunately for me, I’m never at a loss when it comes to this kind of learning. In fact, I own the copyrights on both the phrase and concept for “Reverse Continuous Improvement.”

Whenever the flow of real-life examples of ill-conceived plans and communication tactics slows to a trickle, I always have my own goof-ups to review and re-do.

Here’s a lesson for us all from Wednesday.

MLK Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 12.06.12 PMRecall that August 28 marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I have a dream…” speech.

Of course, it’s common for marketing types to look ahead to dates on the calendar and see what upcoming well-known events can be “tied-into” or “played off of” to benefit their own products or services.

We see this frequently as promoters showcase Halloween merchandise in late August and edgy “GoDaddy” teasers on Super Bowl Night. (so I’m told…)

Even our annual Back-to-School season is another “shared experience” time on the national calendar that is extremely popular with marketers… and even more popular with parents, but not for the same commercial reasons.

However, sometimes our well-known “shared-experience moments” are best left alone.

Sure, they are big. Yes, they are memorable.

But we – as thinking and caring people – will often have a strong emotional attachment and reverence for “an event” (and also the person, in this case) that makes any attempt by marketers to cozy-up alongside seem inappropriate and distasteful.

Discernment is one of the many arrows in every school communicator’s quiver.

Don’t we know it!

See how it could’ve been – should’ve been – better employed in this article about the Golf Channel’s and Taco Bell’s insensitive use of Twitter.

It’s worthwhile reading.

And – shock of shocks – I didn’t let the promise of a free burrito grande and a round of golf keep me from passing this story along to you.

I almost took the bribe with the weekend coming up and all.

So enjoy yours – and your Labor Day as well!

Tom Page, SCN
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