December 12, 2013

Year of the selfie

I suggest that before taking that selfie, turn the camera around and look at what your audience is seeing.

I suggest that before taking that selfie, turn the camera around and look at what your audience is seeing.

POTUS, along with some other ruling “buddies,” decided to take a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service this week. Wow. This is one of the craziest displays of bad judgment of this news cycle — if not this year.

Or is it?

Statistics tell us that photos are the thing to share, so is it inappropriate to share a historic moment? Judging by the social media comments this photo generated, there are plenty of people on both sides of the fence. By the time we make up our minds, another display of public misjudgment will have no doubt come along and distracted us.

When my clients ask about creating effective messages, I ask them to take a step back and look at their options from the audience perspective. I suggest that before taking that selfie, turn the camera around and look at what your audience is seeing.  Ask yourself: Is this really what I mean to communicate?

Madiba was an expert at communicating his message. Always be respectful. Always be dignified.

Nelson Mandela | Image  via Forbes

Nelson Mandela | Image via Forbes

 

As a side note: The journalist in me would like to know why CNN decided to make this into a caption contest. Does bad judgment excuse further bad judgment? I’ll save that one for another blog. What do you think?

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