June 14, 2011

The Congressman, the Comedian & Communication at the Speed of Light

There are people working full-time to make sure that you have the opportunity to see every dirty photo Cong. Anthony Weiner ever tweeted. There are others weighing in on the went-too-far ranting humor of Tracy Morgan. A good week for the Goddess, because it's all about communications.
  • As pieces of his starry career continue to splinter at his feet, Cong. Weiner is trying to fall on the sword of Rehab, perhaps his only PR Ace left in a pretty murky hole. It might work...if only for those darned pictures!
  • Tracy Morgan, a comedian who gets laughs from humor that earned its rough edges from the streets, might be described as a pissed-off marble shooting around a tiled bathroom. On a GOOD day. While performing, Mr. Morgan said, among other things, that he'd stab his son to death if he spoke to him in "a gay voice". He apologized fairly quickly after at least one fan complained online, but the damage was done. (PR Folk note: Ryman Auditorium released a nice little statement of its own.)
Now, gay groups are on fire, and other celebs are speaking out. Some, like Chris Rock and Tina Fey are providing lukewarm support. Others (Wanda Sykes, Nia Vardalos) are screaming "Off with his head!"


Rising above the smarm-oozing headlines, these two scandals illustrate in stunning fashion THE defining component of communication in 2011.

Speed.

Once Cong. Weiner misaddressed a Twitter message and hit Send on his smartphone, his career was toast.

Mr. Morgan presented his comments on a stage in Nashville, but quotes from his mean-spirited rant were out in cyberspace even as people were walking up the aisle to leave the show.

For some people, the realization of how quickly a brand can be digitally annihilated makes them so afraid that they vow, "That's it! I'm only using e-mail." No Facebook, no blogs (which will put them a step behind when the world moves on to whatever comes next). Um, you should remember that e-mail is pretty speedy, too.

But, digital illiteracy is not what we're about, is it, Goddessfriend? I say, view the congressman and the comedian as the Living Lessons they are: When your message will be delivered at the speed of light, perhaps you should slow down and think harder when you're crafting it.

2 comments:

CoachWrite said...

Rep. Weiner's career did not become toast once he hit "send:" it was the week of aggressive evasion, misrepresentation and outright lies before he finally 'fessed up that did him in. If he had copped to his transgression up front, he might have had a chance to save himself.

Karen Malone Wright said...

I hear you, CoachWrite! But, once a congressman send a pic of his private parts to the entire Twitterverse, even a perfectly handle cris management response would be challenged to save his job, esp with others publicizing the photos.

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