Bloggers play a key role in the flow of real time information. When blog posts are researched, written and shared with care, what is discussed adds to ebb and flow of digital discourse, but when blog posts are rushed, based on questionable information, or the blog post content was acquired by, shall we say, less than admirable means, once the content theft is exposed, the full weight of the lies can cripple the offender, and alter their reputation.

Blogger Blunders

Yes, a reputation can take a hit even if a blunder is the real culprit. Here’s two things a blogger should stay away from:

  1. Poking fun at a tragic event  (natural or manmade) or
  2. Falsifying real time information during a natural disaster or manmade crisis.

If comedians won’t mix comedy and tragedy together, why should you risk it? And as far as lying to get attention goes…


Another way a blogger can get into a heap of trouble is if a newsjacking attempt goes wrong. David Merman Scott (@DMScott) defines newsjacking as:

“the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”

Newsjacking is NOT something you want to attempt without a firm understanding of how you relate to the story (or brand) in the news. Trying to garner some attention without a clear connection or understanding of the real time story, as it unfolds, will make you appear shallow and more times than not, harm your reputation.

Newsjacking can have unintended positive outcomes as seen in the case of Big Bird or backfire as it did for American Apparel. Proceed with caution. Don’t ignore the line between best practices for getting attention vs. anything goes tactics. Problems will surely arise if you try to newsjack with the wrong mindset or for the wrong purpose. David Merman Scott gives you the ABC’s of how newsjacking should be done.

Real-Time Marketing

If you must piggyback off of a current event, do what you can to make sure you’re not stepping on any digital toes. No professional or organization wants to be put on blast for poor form. Still, there are lessons to be learned if you ever find you’re teetering dangerously close to a social media disaster of your own making.

Words have power. Spoken, written and yes, even those that exist only as thoughts – have the power to alter the way you see the world around you. Perception determines your perspective. The way you express your thoughts, ideas and intention online matter.

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