C’mon. Don’t Be a Hater.

Do you ever find yourself on the verge of a back and forth public comment exchange, and then decide to just drop it?  Well I did that yesterday. Except now I can’t drop it.

Stilletos are good.

I am amazed by the animosity people who claim to love West Virginia can muster for anyone who sees the world differently than they do.  There is a vibrant young woman who had her first op-ed in The Charleston Gazette Monday, and her topic was social media in politics.  Now here comes a fresh voice — a bit of an attitude, I’ll warrant, but that’s part of the freshness — and what kind of response does she get?  A very snarky put-down and dismissal as having nothing to offer.

Now, you can like it or not like it, but you have to be in some deep denial if you don’t understand that the first African-American to be elected leader of the free world did it with the brilliant use of social media.  That fact alone should wake you way, way up.

Flops are good, too.

Monday’s commentary, like it or not, has a great deal to offer.  It’s not about what you like, or what you wish were true.  It’s about what is, and from where the writer sits her job is to connect politicians with what is.

It’s also what was.  The writer was not comparing Carte Goodwin to JFK as a change agent.  She was saying that they both bask in the glow of a similar perception of savoir faire.  Yes, it’s shallow and goofy to think elected officials are “hot.”  As a friend of mine put it, “Whoa.  That’s a low bar, the U.S. Congress.”  I still crack up that JFK was considered yummy.  Maybe, maybe, next to a sweating Nixon.  But really?  Folks need to get out more.  The bar goes much lower when you limbo at the state level.  But I digress………….(and a little of my breakfast just came up).

The point is that public perception is a valid and important element of elected office, and social media is driving a great deal of public perception.  We can argue all day and all night about whether or not that ought to be true, but while we argue there are people who know how to take advantage of solid strategy who are getting elected, and re-elected, via their socially networked connections to a large proportion of their constituencies.

My hat’s off to this young lady.  True wisdom is not the hallmark of the young, but it’s not rare to have strong opinions and the courage to try to change the world, and to be crazy enough to think you can do it.  West Virginia is chock full of a bunch of old people.  How about we get clue and listen to the very few young people we have left who are still willing to participate in making a difference?

6 thoughts on “C’mon. Don’t Be a Hater.

  1. To stay at the cutting edge of communication, whether it is advertising, PR, GR, multi or social media, one factor will always remain regardless of the message or medium – you must be relevant.

    Cartney is that.

    Those who don’t see it maybe should re-evaluate if they themselves are still relevant.
    I think you should all strap on your stilettos and follow her lead.
    Personally, I’m on my way to Yarids.

    • I wish you hadn’t said Yarid’s……that sounds great right now and I’m broke. (Thanks for your comment, I agree, there’s nothing sadder than people who put others down out of their own fears.)

  2. As a marketing consultant, I’m a big advocate of social media to connect with your consituents. However, I have to always advise clients on the reality of a certain segment of morons who essentially live each day to tear other people down on some comment board. They make up .05% of the world, but they seem to post at least 25%+ of the comments…and 99% of the truly stupid comments.

    Anonymity does in fact empower some with no backbone enough to say the same things in public, but take glee in taking silly shots at others. Luckily, there is much more value to social media and the Internet in general that overshadow their silliness.

    • I think if you can’t put your name to it, you ought not to be saying it. But obviously I am in the minority! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Your clients are lucky to have your advice.

  3. Pingback: The Best of the Blog 2010: What Lit Fires and Stirred the Pot | Esse Diem

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