Tweet at your own risk — a marketing and PR lesson

Our job is to help organizations market and PR themselves.  To do so, it is critical that everything a nonprofit or for-profit organization does is done carefully.

That’s why we always say “tweet with caution.”  Once you let your feelings loose on the internet, you will either benefit or regret you ever made the post.

Over and over people both in the public and private eye have regretted the day they ever opened a Twitter account.  The latest to feel the wrath of Twitter is Roseanne Barr who one day was flying high with her new hit TV show and with one Tweet, threw it all away.

For some reason, people who run to Twitter to express their views or make “jokes” have a comfort level with the medium as if they are having a private conversation with a friend over dinner.  Too many people write impulsively, don’t think about their words, who they will hurt or how they may regret what they post.

With Barr’s middle of the night Tweet about Valerie Jarrett — being insulting, mean and certainly not funny — she branded herself a racist.  I don’t know if Roseanne Barr is a racist or not, but it doesn’t matter.  She has self-labeled herself with one idiotic Tweet that she will regret the rest of her life.  And she hasn’t stopped.  Despite saying she is done with Twitter, she is addicted and can’t stay off the medium.  Her one Tweet cost her the show, millions of dollars, the livelihoods of hundreds who worked on the show and more.

Yet she continues to Tweet.

The consequences of impulsive social media posting is not limited to stars who lose TV shows.  It impacts everybody.  Even the college graduate who is seeking a first job, they need to remember his/her posts can come back to haunt them when a potential employer looks at their Facebook or Twitter history.  They might not lose a TV show, but they also might not get that first job they so want.

What goes online stays online and too many people have become too comfortable with the internet.  Once online it can’t be erased, even Snapchat where posts supposedly disappear, they can be saved.  People need to think before they post and certainly if someone has a couple of drinks in them, they need to stay away from driving and certainly stay away from their cellphone.

Roseann Barr will be fine.  She probably has plenty of money to support herself and her lifestyle.  But while she may be defiant, there is no doubt she has and will regret that evening when she was casually Tweeting at 2 am and woke up to find her career in shambles.