Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't be a Quitter on Twitter

You've probably heard about Ashton Kutcher's faux pas regarding the Penn State and Joe Paterno scandal. To recap, the "That 70's Show" actor tweeted his disdain at the coach's firing, without having known the scandal behind it. Almost immediately, he rescinded his tweet and apologized. However, the damage was done and Kutcher was embarrassed, so he announced his decision to allow his team to manage his Twitter for him. Unfortunately, his followers were not pleased; instead, they felt that it was better that he tweet himself and make the occasional misstep, then to allow a third-party to puppeteer his actions.

So, is it better to just all together quit Twitter, hire someone to manage your account, or to just stick with it, when a crisis arises? According to Ryan May of Minnesota Public Relations Blog, several celebrities who have quit Twitter due to privacy reasons, came back a short time later. With celebrities threatening to quit left and right, it is important to think strategically about social media. Celebrities are magnets for negativity and criticism, so how can your turn that negativity into positivity? Last year, for instance, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, and Lady Gaga vowed to close their Twitter accounts until they raised one million dollars for Keep a Child Alive. By doing so, they played the game and turned attention away from themselves to a greater cause.

Ashton was faced with the decision whether to stay or go, so was it better to stay and risk digging himself into a deeper hole? Or leave and accept that people were going to post negative statements about him without being able to defend himself'? In the long run, Ashton decided to stay with Twitter and keep his opinions on the DL.

Do you think quitting Twitter is an effective crisis management decision? Why or why not? Let us know!

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