I have to wonder if Jack Dorsey ever dreamed Twitter would lead high-ranking executives, politicians and professionals to lose their minds. I would hazard a guess that everyone loses their mind online now and again, incensed by a blog post and moved to leave a comment that one would never utter out loud; or engaging in an online discussion where, devoid of tone, misunderstandings abound and feelings get hurt. Never mind all the stuff that gets the most press; the sexting, the racy photos and the everlasting lure of supposed anonymity.
While it’s the big guys (no pun intended) who get all the attention, obviously this behavior is common at any level. There is a school of thought, however that argues that someone at a higher level has access to advisers, coaches and a cadre of legal and editorial types to monitor and shape their communication. Someone, you might think, who runs a prestigious public relations firm is exactly the kind of person you would think would fall in the “should have known better” category.
Jim Redner, president of the Redner Group, is the latest executive to learn a difficult Twitter lesson. In what a gaming industry reporter has called a “Twitter tantrum” the PR agency head had a fit over some negative reviews of the newly released game, Duke Nukem Forever, and threatened to deny review copies of future games to those who “went too far” with “venom filled reviews.”
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Public relations folks, especially someone at Redner’s level, ought to understand that Twitter is a communication vehicle that is public and tweets are shared, again and again. Even though Redner quickly apologized and tried to do damage control, the firm’s client fired them. That’s a big chunk of business to lose, I’m sure.[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/2KGames/status/81056724546633729″]
So what should Redner do now? Should he, like Anthony Weiner, resign? Should he take some time off and enter himself into an intensive Twitter workshop? Perhaps he needs a media relations refresher course. Is there a rehab center for angry online communicators?