There’s no one way to talk to customers online. Whether a company representative is solving problems, promoting their product or service or just talking with normal people doing normal things, it’s hard to say they’re doing anything wrong.
But I don’t think tweets like this do the sender or the subject any good:
Full of what some might call hyperbole, I call it a blatant exaggeration of what the scene in downtown Phoenix really is. While Jason Rose is fantastic at crisis PR and as such a master of misdirection, I don’t see a statement like this working here. It violates what I consider a few social rules and here’s what I think can be done to promote what we like and/or clients without just making stuff up.
1. Make sure what you’re referring to exists before you try to remake it
Unless you’re referring to Durrant’s many years ago, downtown Phoenix hasn’t had a power dining scene in a long, long time. I could also claim that Gangplank has remade the local tech scene in Chandler, but they’re more inventing than remaking anything. Statements like above wouldn’t be made in normal conversation, so they feel out of place in a social media setting.
2. It’s advertising, not marketing
Statements may work well in the world of traditional PR, but conversations online don’t work like that. Advertising interrupts us, but doesn’t add much to any sort of conversation. Engage the people, don’t just shout at them.
3. Bring your reasoning
Anyone can make a claim on Twitter, and without context, links or further reasoning, we have no way to refute or agree with said claim. Why would make a Sam Fox concept restaurant be better suited for “power dining” downtown than a La Grande O’range* or Postinos?
4. Is Sam Fox a client?
Any good PR person would never hesitate to promote a client, but is there some sort of disclosure necessary here? Like reporters, PR professionals’ statements are often looked at with a magnifying glass, because they usually have greater access to companies and information than the general public. I’d like to assume Rose or anyone else in a similar situation would disclose a client relationship, but are we supposed to assume that no disclosure means no association?
If you look at the rest of Rose’s tweets, this one definitely feels misplaced. As one of the most powerful PR guys here in AZ, it’s important that he and people like him adhere to some sort of standard so the rest of us are able to separate fact from opinion and compliments from promotion.
Do you struggle with this? What’s your personal disclosure policy? Is it necessary to have one?