Sunday, October 03, 2010

Keep Media and Social Media APART!

When Capital Region radio station WGY fired Al Roney, the popular Talk Show host's Facebook page was taken down soon after. Roney bounced back, but there is a lesson to be learned here about letting something or someone larger than YOU control your social networking accounts.

Consider this bigger, more complex case:

CNN's (now former) daytime anchor Rick Sanchez has 145,000+ followers on Twitter. So, now that he's been fired from CNN, what will happen to his Twitter account and his hat that affiliates him with his employer: @ricksanchezcnn.

Sanchez got booted following a radio interview he conducted, where he name-called Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, a "bigot" and made a few statements concerning bias among CNN's news executives. A big HUGE NO-NO! More on that here and here, --- you can listen to the audio of the actual radio interview.

In line with these bold new digital times, radio/TV journalists and personalities may want to develop their own independent social media presence. This is really pretty much the norm: if you check my twitter followers by logging into your own twitter account and then checking my twitter page,, you'll see I have many, many media people I follow who do not link the twitter account with their employer. These same individuals also keep their own Facebook accounts, and many of them publish blogs that are unique and seperate from their emploer's websites.

The fact that both Roney and Sanchez got snagged probably comes from the idea each individual had that he thoght he was "set" in his job, and that he would never be leaving his employer. That old-school thinking goes back to the 1950s where you got a job and worked for that same employer for the rest of your life, whether it was GE or WGY.

Nonetheless, there exists a handful of high-profile journalists and personalities whose social media presence is grafted to their employer. Unfortunately for them, should the axe fall, they are totally left offline, unless maybe they're "LinkedIn" - if you get my drift!

I have noticed a few cases where someone will carry a "personal" account as well as a "professional" one, much as the same as you and I have our work e-mail which we maintain through our employer, but we have our personal e-mail as well, which will carry on after we've retired or won the lottery!
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