Suite 250



RGIII Fumbles Again . . . On Social Media

RGIII Fumbles

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It’s a brand new frontier out there and no one loves social media more than PR executives.  Why?  Because public relations firms are getting hired in record numbers to help clients expand their reach by communicating to new audiences via the medium of social media. However, when those same clients misuse or abuse the power of social media, PR professionals are there to help clients dig their way out of the blast holes they create through the reckless use of thumb-detonated explosives.

Regarding the personal use of online dynamite, no one from the DC area or any ESPN viewer across America this week could escape learning the predicament Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, or more affectionately known as RGIII, blew himself into through the use of Instagram.  Earlier in his career, when he was revered and had the capital to spend, he waded into social media hot water.  But now that he has reached the low point in his Skins’ career, the fan base and his coaches are only focused on one thing in 2015 – real results on the football field.

So what did he do?  Under the guise of “he’s just another 25-year-old kid and all youngsters have the rights to be themselves in their spare time”, he posted a video on Instagram of him singing Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” while cruising in his car.  Big deal?  Not really, though it obviously got the people who are on the bubble about whether RGIII was worth the three, 1st round draft picks the Skins paid for him pretty agitated.  Now the bad part.  As the airstrike from those critics questioning why he was posting when he should have been instead focused on being a pro quarterback landed, RGIII lit the fuse by engaging them. The dynamite was just about to finally blow halfway through the post-off when he wrote, “Players put too much time into our profession to be told posting on social media 2 or 3 times a day is a sign that you don’t focus on your craft.”  Sadly the exchanges only got worse from there.

So what’s the lesson here for every person who’s not a Kardashian and every invincible company that isn’t owned by Bill Gates?   You never, ever pick a fight on social media that you aren’t certain is carefully crafted by you to win.  And you never repeat the principal weakness people perceive you may already have for the world to see.

Instead, companies should be using social media to reach and cultivate goodwill with employees, connect with ambassadors who might help the business grow, or get out your accomplishments that reflect your values and strengthen your brand.  So please, remember that the Internet never sleeps and what you write or post never goes away.

I’m Jim Lamb and I’m in “Suite 250”.