Sardar Law Firm

PR & Social Media: Let’s Not Get Sued

In Social Media on March 2010 at 6:46 pm

Social media is an efficient, low cost public relations (PR) tool. The social media platform is far more than just Twitter and Facebook, and if Twitter is the extent of your participation – then perhaps you have not harnessed the power of social media just yet.

However, even using JUST Twitter as a PR tool can cause some problems.  Here are the top 3 things to think about (and plan for).

(1) Your Public Relations Rep is NOT an attorney.

First and foremost, your PR rep does not know exactly what can and cannot get you in trouble on the legal front in Social media.  And if you are doing PR yourself – unless you are an attorney – you may not know the legal lines involved either.   A simple strategic Social media move such as getting on Twitter is not going to safeguard you from lawsuits — ask Kim Kardashian who was sued because of a Twitter post she made about the Cookie Diet.

(2) What You Say Matters When You are a “Someone.”

Public relations is all about who you are and what your influence is.  So is libel, defamation, and slander – especially when it comes to lawsuits.  If you are a celebrity, executive, or well-known blogger, something you say on a Social media platform can result in a serious lawsuit.  Make a concise effort to think before you Tweet/post – and think this, “If someone said this about me, would my business or name be harmed?”

(3)  A “No-one” May Not Get Sued – But He/She Can Lose Business.

It’s one thing to post anonymously on review websites – and it’s another thing to put your name next to what you are saying.  While the beauty of Social media is that each person can be a publicly heard opinion – you need to remember who that opinion is going out to, and what the effects will be on you and your own business.  For example – if you run a copy/print business and bash a couple of companies in your Tweets/posts – you might as well write them off forever when it comes to getting business from them.  And if your EMPLOYEE Tweets/posts in the same way… the effect is the same for your company.

It is critical to move forward in your PR efforts while developing a strong and resilient social media policy.  But if you decided to assess, influence, and evolve – your company will benefit from the world of free social media publicity and corporate communication.

by: Benish Shah, Esq. & Sheheryar Sardar, Esq., Sardar Law Firm LLC

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