Social Media During a Difficult Week in Boston

SeeTheLightI saw the best and the worst this past week on Social Media sites and being a Marketing Coach based in Beverly, MA where we are only 18 miles north of Boston, I was not a casual observer.  Let me start by saying I was working in TV advertising during the 9-11 tragedy.  As a Senior Account Executive, it was my job to help my TV clients build and communicate their brand message and promote the growth of sales.  I knew instantly that seeing a commercial selling a car or furniture or any product while people watched in horror of the tragedy would not be appropriate and could possibly have adverse reactions.  We quickly worked to pull all our clients’ commercials from airing for a good part of that September even though the clients were in annual contracts and we would personally lose our commission.  It was the right thing to do for the world, our clients and for ourselves who were also hurting because of the tragedy of 9-11.  Last week was the same for Purple Diamond!

Purple Diamond manages several local businesses  and their Social Media Campaigns on Facebook and Twitter so I learned of the Boston Marathon bombings online and quickly turned on the television to see what was happening only miles away.  Horror and pain and worry and many many prayers.  I had clients and friends running and many more watching the race and even a cousin working close to the finish line.  The post I was about to submit to one of my client’s page quickly got deleted before I pushed the send button.  Everything had changed and as I monitored the news feed from a couple sites.  I watched closely for any news that the people I knew who were running or watching the race were ok and I posted updates from news media to my own Facebook page so my friends and family might possibly see it and get out of the city as fast as possible.

I saw the best and the worst last week on Social Media sites for many days. Purple Diamond chose to keep all pages quiet and only about prayers and concern for Boston with clients’ approval and trust that I knew what was best, but there were still companies who posted like nothing happened and I wondered if they were using an auto feed or just plain clueless as to what is appropriate.  Some even used this horrific tragedy to create special promotions…that shocked me the most.  But, I did see some really wonderful caring posts and actions from companies in our area which made me glad that I was not alone in how I felt about Social Media during a difficult week.  There is a time and place for everything, but using a tragic event to try and sell more products is something this Marketing person will never do.

[Please join Boston today by observing a moment of silence at 2:50 pm to honor the victims and their families.]