OMG. Poor Andrew Powaleny. He was just tweeting away about his life, when his private world caught up with his public one. You see, he's just a simple spokesman in a lopsided Congressional race, where his candidate is currently trailing by a mere 27 percentage points. As a spokesman, he does his job...questioning the polls, and challenging the data-- positioning victory for his candidate as a viable possibility. On his Twitter, however, it's an entirely different story. On Twitter, he joked with friends about the public media comments while calling the campaign he works on a "lost cause". We feel for you Andrew. These types of issues will only increase with the expansion of social networks as a primary means of public communication.
Our CBO (Chief Buzz Officer) is running for City Council in NYC. He has written on his blog about reaction to his joining a Facebook group of a politician in the "other" party. We also once had a staffer totally chastised by a client for a controversial Facebook status update, which was taken completely out of context. My absolute FAVORITE was when we set an entire office gossiping when my husband posted that he was "feeling financial pressure, but still loving life". In reality, he was talking about the impending financial crisis, but suddenly, people thought we were ready to declare bankruptcy.
What to do with this? Well, the challenge, of course, is to remain authentic AND appropriate. As employers, government, and everyday people join the social marketing arena, I hope that the tweeters, status updaters, and bloggers of the world continue to use their voices authentically, even if they have to tone it down a bit. Perhaps Andrew should have referred to it not as a lost cause, but as a cause that needs a heck of a lot of help!