Why it helps to have a company social media policy (and why do we put so much stock in what pro athletes say)

We sure love our sports in America.

Not only do we spend lots of money and time idolizing people for their athletic abilities, we heavily contemplate every word they say.

And with the advent of Twitter and Facebook, athletes have the platform to comment on any issues around the world.

That’s when issues start to happen.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is the latest example.

One day after U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in a raid, Mendenhall shared the following series of thoughts which show sympathy toward bin Laden:

• “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side. I believe in God. I believe we’re ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge.”

• “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style”

• “Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves.”

• “For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn in hell . . . I ask how would God feel about your heart?”

Mendenhall is taking his fair share of criticism for his comments from the media and Steelers officials.

Mendenhall has since taken down his tweet, but in honesty, why do we place such a high value on what athletes say?

I’m a Steelers fan in full disclosure, but Mendenhall commenting on bin Laden is like me commenting on nuclear physics.
We’re all entitled to our opinions, but that doesn’t make them always intelligent ones.

The interesting question here is if the Steelers have a social media policy for their players?

We’re entitled to our opinions, but we have a responsibility for what we say when we’re representing a larger organization.

How about your company?

Your employees may not have the name recognition Mendenhall has, but what they say in social media effects your company and your bottom line.

I would recommend your company or organization takes a serious look at adopting a social media policy.

This is important not just for what they say about your company or products, but on how they represent themselves.

Think Mendenhall’s comments have an effect on the Steelers?

Your employee’s words on public sites can have the same effect on you.

I’m available for consulting for company social media policies for a nominal fee. Contact me at here for more information.

UPDATE: Mendenhall clarified his comments Tuesday night. Here is a story about the blog he wrote about the matter.

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Posted on May 4, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Excellent job. I really enjoyed reading today’s post. Twitter is something that everyone can take advantage of.

    I added an article about how to set up an effective twitter account.

    Create A Professional Twitter Account

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