Obama’s #FuneralSelfie #Fail

Jonathan Bernstein Crisis Prevention, Erik Bernstein, Jonathan Bernstein, public relations, reputation management, social media, social media crisis management, social media reputation management, Weiner Awards Leave a Comment

Could the President REALLY have been foolish enough to shoot this selfie ?

You would expect the President of the United States to be well-versed in the ways of decorum and aware of the image he’s projecting ANYTIME he’s in public – especially when it comes to events like, say, the memorial service for a revered human rights leader.  And this is the “Internet President,” the guy whose online team was a major force – perhaps THE major force – in both his election and re-election campaigns.  So you’d think he would know better than to commit an egregious online faux-pas, right?

Instead, President Obama joined the swelling ranks of teenagers being chronicled and ridiculed on pages like this one for snapping #FuneralSelfies. The president was caught grinning as he posed for a photo with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s face shows exactly what she thinks of the situation.

Now, those defending the president argue that this was a South African-style event, more of a celebration than a somber service, but here’s the problem — when it comes to reputation, appearance matters, and the average person here in the States taking 30 seconds out of their day to form an opinion will conclude that Obama was engaging in selfish, inappropriate and immature behavior, not exactly the image you want to project as an international leader.

Of course we would like to heartily thank the president for perfectly timing his gaffe to coincide with our launch of the Weiner Awards! While he’s going to be up against some stiff competition, we certainly expect this move to make him strong contender for Weiner of the Year.

The BCM Blogging Team

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