Revealing Photos Land Candidate in Running for Weiner Awards

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Erik Bernstein, internet crisis management, internet reputation management, Jonathan Bernstein, online crisis management, online reputation management, PR, reputation management, social media, social media crisis management, social media reputation management, Weiner Awards 3 Comments

Don’t hurt your reputation by leaving private photos where the world can see

Shoving their face between the breasts on a mannequin, sitting buck naked in a hammock drinking a beer, and stripping at a party. Sounds like Spring Break for a boozing college kid, right?

Not so much. In fact, those acts are all depicted in pictures discovered on the Facebook pages of Sierra Madre, CA City Council candidate Noah Green and his wife.

Instead of the red-faced removal of the offending photos that would follow this revelation for most, Green is embracing the pictures, not the crisis management strategy we’d recommend.

The Pasadena Star-News’ Adam Poulisse reports:

Before Green submitted his candidacy for City Council, he combed his Facebook page to ensure there was nothing that would hinder his race, he said.

“I left them up for public viewing, and when I see them, I don’t see them as looking bad,” said Green. “My mother is on that page. I’m not hiding anything.”

Problem is, nobody cares what YOU think looks bad, they care what THEY think looks bad, and to an awful lot of people seeing a man they’re supposed to trust to spend millions in city funds behaving immaturely is reason enough to vote for someone else.

Before running for any type of public office, or, heck, before applying for a job, a scholarship, or really anything else where your character will be evaluated, you absolutely must ensure you’ve wiped anything that could offend from your social media profiles (and those of your friends, family, etc.). Of course, it’s best not to post them in the first place if you can help it. After all, you never know how long your opponents have been scouring for dirt, or what may still be lurking in corners of the web, forgotten but easy enough to find for someone who goes digging.

It’s up to you, but we will say this – neglect this responsibility, and you just may find yourself joining Green in the race for a 2014 Weiner Award.

The BCM Blogging Team

Comments 3

  1. Casey Braun

    The key issue you identify is spot-on: Individuals and organizations do not determine their reputation. They, also, do not determine what is and is not a crisis. The publics determine those things. The individual or organization needs to use highly strategic relationship management techniques and common sense–something that seems to elude many in the 21st century–to shape opinion.

    This is the kind of arrogance and shortsightedness that rockets something that should remain in the realm of moderately private issues management into the very public crisis arena. Social media has given legs to stories that, previously, would never have even hit the presses. As such, public figures need to be hyper-aware of their online activities and not dismiss their publics’ opinions.

  2. Kevin

    This is interesting in light of what happened here in Minnesota last week when our US Senator, Al Franken, was caught on video holding traffic cones up to his chest as if they were breasts. He’s up for re-election this year. It was mentioned locally, but nowhere near the level that it could be considered a crisis.

    1. Erik Bernstein

      To be fair, this story didn’t go beyond local either, it’s just local to us so we caught wind of it quickly.

      To the bigger point though, I think the advantage Franken has is that he’s known to be a wacky guy already due to his comedy/SNL days, so people are more likely to take his actions with a grain of salt. It helps that he has several years experience under his belt as well. Of course any behavior like that is a risk, but if it’s already somewhat in line with your character then the public tends to take things less seriously.

Leave a Reply