By October 22, 2012 1 Comments Read More →

A communication booboo

Alberta’s Wildrose party leader Danielle Smith found herself in national headlines over a communication booboo she made. Specifically, the brevity of a comment she made on Twitter lent itself to criticism because of the idea it suggests — that properly cooked tainted meat is fit for her province’s poor.

DanielleSmith-meattweet

I wasn’t planning on writing about it. However, I received a call asking if I feel this further proves Twitter is a bad communication tool. If that’s the case, every other communication channel over which someone has made a blunder or been misinterpreted is also a bad communication channel. That of course includes in-person conversations, handwritten notes, printed materials, speeches, produced audio and video, etc… The booboo is made by the communicator, not the channel.

The choice of tool requires the communicator to think carefully about the message they are delivering and how it may or may not be received.

Having said that, Twitter (in fact all digital media) lends itself nicely to a pile-on. And that appears to have happened. The last two days have seen a substantial increase in mentions of @ElectDanielle, Ms. Smith’s Twitter handle. By 4:30pmET today, Ms. Smith had doubled her September 23 spike which centred around an announcement Ms. Smith made about preparing for her October 18 debate “Would the End of Equalization Mean the End of Canada?” against Michael Ignatieff.

Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos MAP.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.
  • Steve H.

    Sure, but by the time this booboo disappears from public memory, she’ll still have a bunch more people following her account. Could be an interesting, if dangerous, tactic.