Being Right is Better Than Being First
April 18th, 2013
We now work at the speed of thought. Social media, mobile devices and our sense of posting NOW gives us 24/7 information. Real time work–or the latest Twitter picture, Vine video or Instagram post. Examples abound: Boston, the Iran earthquake, the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion…all are documented in real time. We live in the NOW. While that can be positive on many levels, here are some things to think about:
- Media is so worried about being FIRST, not BEING RIGHT. Some news media (CNN) “confirmed” the arrest of a person responsible for the bombs in Boston. Ten minutes later, they said they had no confirmation of a suspect. BE RIGHT, NOT FIRST. I’d be fired if my clients were first but not right. Social media best practices require BEST practices. This means the social media tools are great, when they are reflecting facts real time. However, it is the media’s job to verify what is viral for accuracy.
- Be mindful of what you tape, capture, tweet, promote. I am guessing that this will be a huge security issue in the future. In Boston, the FBI was asking for all persons with phones to send possible footage that could assist in the solving of the crime on Boston. Powerful. We are all now media and cameras on the street.
- If you are going to an event, use your phone to photograph anything suspicious. We are now citizen deputies and “savers of our cities”. If you see something, say something. And while you are at it, take a picture or a video of it. It’s now up to us to help law enforcement look for suspicious activity, record and report it. I know we can’t turn back the clock but, wouldn’t it have been wonderful if someone in Boston had seen the bombs and reported them before they were detonated? Don’t give up and don’t give in.
- If you are in PR, you are now in crisis PR. Get it fast and get it right. Find professional help to handle a crisis and realize the need for one and plan for one to happen in your business. Whether it’s a natural disaster, accident or attack, statistics show that a crisis will likely happen to most businesses at some point. That’s why having a plan and checklist ready is vital. It also should be practiced and shared ahead of the crisis. You don’t have the luxury of time to think about what to do in the middle of a crisis. Having a well rehearsed plan allows you to get most of your reaction right and frees your brain up to adjust on the fly.
Funny that we aren’t the only ones talking about this. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart explains here.