Whenever an important event occurs in our world, somebody, somewhere, has to write a blog post that explains what said event can teach us about social media.
Let’s face it: There are social media lessons to be learned in anything, if we look hard enough.
But I’ve seen a picture of the gruesome injury suffered by Louisville basketball player Kevin Ware during the NCAA Tournament, and I can report, with confidence, that we can learn absolutely nothing about social media by what happened. (If we learned anything, it’s that we should look away when such situations present themselves.)
BusinessWired, however, a PR and marketing blog from Business Wire, wanted in on the action, so they baited their readers into clicking on a recent post that used the injury in a thinly veiled attempt to explain how a possible career-ending injury can teach public companies about how to use social media.
How about no?
At worst, it was in poor taste. At best, it was still in poor taste. Not because it took advantage of somebody getting hurt, but because it was lazy. And it didn’t make a lot of sense, either.
Tips ranging from establishing clear policies on company’s use of social media, to tracking social media sentiment, have nothing to do with the fake Twitter account that received a majority of well wisher’s tweets. There’s a brief mention of this near the bottom, but, by that point, most people have stopped reading.
I would expect a company like Business Wire to be more thoughtful in their approach. But then when I see them hawking their services in that same post, it all makes sense.
This wasn’t just in poor taste, it was positioned to drive sales, as well.
Like I said: You can find social media lessons in most anything. And, most of the time, the comparisons are harmless. It’s when you try to hitch your wagon to a notorious event that you put your reputation at risk.
The Business Wired post could have been written without any mention of Kevin Ware’s injury. It may have garnered less clicks, but it would’ve accomplished the same goal: selling a product.
By trying to be too clever, they just came off as insensitive.