“Whatcha gonna do when they tweet for you?” Prince George County Police Dept & the Perils Live Tweeting

After reading Lance Ulanoff’s piece about live tweeting in Mashable yesterday, I decided to address one questionPGPD live tweet announcement he did not: are there times when it’s best to not live tweet an event? While researching the question, I stumbled upon a “Not-The-Onion” level of craziness from the United States in early May. Apparently, the Prince George County Police Department (PGPD) media relations team decided it would be a great idea to live-Tweet a prostitution sting in Maryland, and, that it would be even better to announce the event in advance. To make matters worse, theirĀ blog announcement stated that they would target “those soliciting prostitutes” but their accompanying image, which was subsequently removed from their website, showed a woman being led away in plastic handcuffs. TheĀ backlash on Twitter and in the news media was swift and harsh. These tweets, featured in a Vox piece, capture the sentiment well: Continue reading

Three Reasons not to Hire a Social Media Intern (And Five Tips if you Hire One Anyway)

Credit: Stuart Pilbrow

Credit: Stuart Pilbrow

It’s the beginning of July, and, judging by the number of ads I’m seeing, it’s time to talk about social media interns. For the purpose of this piece, an intern is defined as “a student or recent graduate who works for a [fixed] period of time at a job in order to get experience.” Hiring interns can be beneficial to both companies and student employees, but, in order to maximize the benefits of the arrangement, the tasks and responsibilities given to them must be appropriate. Too often we hear about interns being hired to learn new skills only to find their days actually being filled with cleaning, fetching coffee or other menial tasks that don’t add value to their resumes. However, when it comes to social media, employers still often take things to the opposite extreme, giving interns free rein to create and/or post on a company’s social media accounts, despite many articles and blog posts warning them not to.

To review what has been said in similar posts elsewhere, hiring a social media intern is a bad idea for three reasons:

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