Don’t Forget: Don’t Get Caught Up in the Politics of It All

Don't forget. Don't get caught up in the emotions of politics online. Photo courtesy of Ronaldo Taveira. Above Promotions Company 2012.
Don't forget. Don't get caught up in the emotions of politics online. Photo courtesy of Ronaldo Taveira. Above Promotions Company 2012.
Don’t forget. Don’t get caught up in the emotions of politics online. Photo courtesy of Ronaldo Taveira. Above Promotions Company 2012.

It would be too easy and probably too late to bring up Pizza Hut (please click the Pizza Hut link and read this humorous take on the story) and their short-lived debate advertising campaign. Although it must be said, that their marketing tactics accomplished what it needed to do. No one would really expect a person to stand up in front of millions of people around the world at the town hall presidential debate and ask “Sausage or pepperoni?” just to win a life’s worth of free pizza. Although they recreated the promotion for online, it is safe to assume, they will not lose a noticeable amount of sales over it. It will be interesting to see if they actually see a positive or negative spike in sales or brand awareness afterwards.

Former President Bill Clinton makes the debate gaffe with a binder full of women. Photo Credit Unknown. 2012
Former President Bill Clinton makes the debate gaffe with a binder full of women. Photo Credit Unknown. 2012

It would be just over doing it by bringing up this week’s social media debate gaffe, binders full of women, as mentioned by Governor Mitt Romney on Tuesday. Although it’s actually quite funny to see that former President Bill Clinton seems to have had more of a viral effect with the binder statement than the candidate that mentioned it. It seems like Mr. Clinton just will not be able to shake the women from his past. It can pretty much be expected that the binder will last at least until the debate next week. So brace yourself to see the funny and incorrect images attempting to restate what Romney stated during the debate.

It would, however, be appropriate to remind everyone about not spreading their political views through their business or non-profit organization platform online. I stumbled across a Facebook page which was titled and even described in the “About” section as being a religious organization promoting pro-life music cds. (I’m still unclear as to what those songs entail, but perhaps one of you readers can explain.) Upon reviewing the page, it became clear the page went from music to being a place with more political party affiliation updates than anything else. Assuming the page was not a front for a political party, it would be safe to say, they are inappropriately using an avenue that could instead help them to gain positive exposure about their music.

Last Saturday after finishing the Bar Camp Tampa Bay workshop on “Turning Your Beta Testers to Brand Ambassadors”, I had to call in to WEAL in Greensboro, North Carolina for our monthly on air discussion regarding marketing. I explained to the listeners why people should not allow themselves to get emotionally charged up and jeopardize sales for their business or their non-profit status with the government over politics. Although it was my first public conversation regarding determining what is and is not ok with sharing with your customers, this discussion really started the previous week offline with a colleague asking me, “do you think this year’s election is worse than others?” She was surprised at my answer of “no.” These discussions led to the need to share this “don’t forget” reminder with each of you.

I believe that this year’s political campaign on a local and national scale is more emotionally charged due to social media. The candidates are really using the same amount of mudslinging directly from each campaign. Those of us that use social media daily are just feeling more overwhelmed by it all.

Let’s go backwards to the 2004 and 2008 elections. Neither former President George Bush nor Senator John Kerry were using the internet nor social media in the same manner to drive their campaigns as is done today. Neither were social media users as active in the campaign online when President Barack Obama‘s camp led a charge of merging politics with Facebook and Twitter in 2008. Now with staggering numbers of social media users (Pingdom announced in 2011, that Facebook had more users than there were internet users in 2004), the immediacy of gathering information and sharing it (whether correct or not) is extremely easy.

Just think about it. How long would it have taken for you to reach all of or at least a third of your social media friends to share your political views in 2004, then in 2012. In a hour, I can tell hundreds how I feel on a topic or share a funny meme with others. A lot has changed and this election is important, but I would not venture to say the political climate is the same. It is the citizens’ environment that has changed, due to the manner views are quickly shared from within and outside of the candidates’ campaign. The flood gates are literally opened to the opinions of others.

With all of that said, you can easily find yourself swimming in political statements online which could be further from your truth on the topic in question. When you do feel like the misrepresentations or views of others are so vile, step away from the computer. Ask yourself, how can the words you type or image you share be used to hold you accountable for offense or against you and your business or organization. You may want to stand on the “freedom of expression” leg, however, be prepared to stand alone when customers drop off or your comments are so biased they cost you your non-profit status with the IRS.

I’m not encouraging silence, but intelligence. You must be prepared for how your words will bring about change in and out of your business.

All in all, don’t get caught up in the politics of it all. November 6th will come and go, but your business or organization, will need to still be in tact.

What are your thoughts on sharing in political discussions as a business owner or non-profit leader?

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

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Yesterday….Marketing Strategy Book, Debate and a Memorable Date.

Because You're Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation. 2012

Yesterday was an exciting day at Above Promotions Company!

The Creative Director, Ebony Grimsley, launched her book Because You’re Small on 10/11/12. Responses have already started to roll in and the message of a new marketing business book has been dispersed.

If you’re a reader of this blog, you will find the book to follow the same tone as posts here and solid strategies to immediately incorporate.

Don’t forget you can find the book on the Publisher’s site (booktango.com) or on Amazon, Kobo and other sites worldwide.

Be sure to grab your copy and leave a comment saying you picked it up.

Because You're Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation. 2012
Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation. 2012

The Vice Presidential candidate debate for the U.S. took place last night. Both Vice President Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan were actively engaged in displaying their side’s opinions. On the social media world, not too memes broke out, however, Vice President Biden’s gestures seemed to be a constant note by those on Twitter. Although many called for a “tie” at the end, it was clear during the debate that body language was an intended feature of the night. As media professionals, it was quite clear that the words were not the only messages for the night.

Vice President Joe Biden's animated display. VP Debate with Congressman Paul Ryan. Image courtesy of AP/Rick Wilkins. Above Promotions Company
Vice President Joe Biden’s animated display. VP Debate with Congressman Paul Ryan. Image courtesy of AP/Rick Wilkins. Above Promotions Company

Finally, the date 10/11/12 was a memorable date. Not only was the book “Because You’re Small” released, but many businesses took to taking advantage of the date. 6pm.com hosted at $13 sale. Maidenform offered $10 bras, $11 sleepwear, and $12 shapewear. Did you find or conduct any sales yesterday? If so, please share your company’s information below.

6pm.com 10/11/12 $13 sale. Image courtesy of 6pm.com/Sexy Bags and Shoes Blog.
6pm.com 10/11/12 $13 sale. Image courtesy of 6pm.com/Sexy Bags and Shoes Blog.

It’s been a full week for Above Promotions Company. So the weekend will be used wisely. We’re talking about a comedy show, trip to a local vineyard and more than likely a bit of home improvement things. Pretty much good locations to possibly pull content for next week’s blog. Any interesting plans or things happen to you this weekend, please share with us. We may just ask you to do a guest blog from it.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

Twitter Storms from Last Night’s Debate: Save Sesame Street, KitchenAid and New Moderator

Romney Upsets Sesame Street Fans. Presidential Debate October 3, 2012. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Viral Photo.
Romney Upsets Sesame Street Fans. Presidential Debate October 3, 2012. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Viral Photo.
Romney Upsets Sesame Street Fans. Presidential Debate October 3, 2012. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL. Viral Photo.

 

For a person who loves to study crisis communications, a Presidential debate is like Christmas in July. You know something will be said to irritate the public and given the ease of spreading messages over social media, one can expect a good meme or two from it. Surely a comment or two would come up about someone’s facial expressions in front of the camera or tone in their response.

Just as anticipated, last night’s first Presidential debate with President Obama and Governor Romney delivered a few items that just had to be highlighted today.

First, let’s talk about Sesame Street. Are Sunny Days really going away? Was anyone expecting to hear PBS would be on the chopping block to reduce the budget if Governor Mitt Romney is elected?

“I’m sorry, Jim, I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I’m going to stop other things. I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too. But I’m not going to — I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for. That’s number one.” – Gov. Romney.

Within seconds Twitter and Facebook lit up with comments objecting to the statement and admittedly many were quite humorous. Thank goodness for the daylight and people who check facts. Unfortunately, the cut will only be $300 and $445 million dollars per Forbes magazine and would make for an interesting argument amongst economists on being a viable solution. However, for the true fans of the arts, children, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), this deduction would still ruffle the feathers of Sesame Street followers.

But enough about Big Bird and the cartoons. Let’s move on to the moderator who appeared to lose favor with viewers.

Jim Lehrer Moderator for October 3, 2012 Presidential Debate. Photo By Pool-Michael Reynolds/AP. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL. 2012
Jim Lehrer Moderator for October 3, 2012 Presidential Debate. Photo By Pool-Michael Reynolds/AP/Yahoo. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL. 2012

In debating, there are rules and order. Many viewers took to social media to discuss the lack of control and questions posed during the debate by Jim Lehrer from PBS. Per the Washington Post:

“The tough assessments crossed party lines: Republican commentator Laura Ingraham wrote on Twitter that Lehrer seemed “a bit overwhelmed.” Comic and Democratic activist Bill Maher bluntly tweeted that “Lehrer sucked.””

A search on Twitter will lead you to some additional sentiments. In following a few trending hashtags, #essencedebate being one, many implied CNN’s Roland Martin would have been a better moderator, while media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, Eric Deggans seemed to also weigh in on the missteps of Lehrer on Facebook, “Much as I respect Jim Lehrer, also hated stuff like Dodd/Frank and Simpson/Bowles weren’t explained to viewers who aren’t policy wonks.”

It can only be assumed that the next moderator, Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent at ABC News will be practicing for the October 11th debate along with Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan.

But at least Lehrer remained respectful and didn’t offend the President, unlike KitchenAid.

 

KitchenAid's Social Media Personnel Brings Up President Obama's Deceased Grandmother. Photo Courtesy of Mashable. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012
KitchenAid’s Social Media Personnel Brings Up President Obama’s Deceased Grandmother. Photo Courtesy of Mashable. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2012

 

Now, truly this is the OMG moment of the night. One that people on both sides of the political spectrum found offensive. KitchenAid, oh KitchenAid, what were you thinking?! At what point did this appear to be a joke for Twitter. Perhaps the social media personnel thought they were logged into their personal account? Since then an apology has been tweeted by a company official, but the reach of it and the crisis storm from it, will cause for a more formal statement to be made at some point in time.

Whew! You probably thought you would only have to worry about fighting with your friends on Facebook. Who’s ready for the next debate?

Please comment below if any other storms brewed last night during the debates.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.