Michelle Sullivan Communications | Relations publiques - media

By: Michelle Sullivan  09-12-2011

Let’s calm down a little. It’s not because one CAN do something that one SHOULD do it. How about hitting pause on this self-centered age we live in, to think about this a minute. Around the world, in , in , in , in , in , in , people are killing one another in pro-democratic movements.

And what do we do? We get indignant when faced with a law that seeks to protect our democracy and we gear up to defy it on Twitter. To what end?

Yes, the law should be changed to better reflect our new communicational reality. No, we should not sacrifice democracy on the altar of Twitter. Let’s respect our democratic institutions and the right of Western Canadians to express themselves through the vote, free of all external influence.

Bottom line? Grow up.

On election day, until the last polls close in all electoral districts, the Canada Elections Act prohibits the dissemination of:

election advertising

results of election opinion surveys not previously released

Note to my readers: For the first time since launching this blog over 4 years ago, I’m translating a post. The challenge of having a bilingual blog is that you know that no post can be read by 100% of the people who follow you. I chose a bilingual blog format because I wanted to engage with two communities. It happened that those communities were separated by language. A bilingual blog is a truly Canadian compromise to a truly Canadian dilemna. The problem is that, this time, I want to be read by both anglo and franco Canadians. For those of you who master the language of Molière as well as the language of Shakespeare, my apologies for the redundancy.

Du calme. Ce n’est pas parce qu’on PEUT faire quelque chose qu’on DEVRAIT le faire. Cessons un instant ce nombrilisme collectif qui caractérise trop bien notre époque moderne, pour réfléchir un peu. Partout dans le monde, en , en , en , en , en , en , la population s’entretue dans des luttes pro-démocratiques.

Et nous? On s’indigne face à une loi qui vise à protéger la démocratie et on se prépare à la défier sur Twitter. À quelle fin au juste?

Oui, la loi devrait être changée pour mieux refléter notre nouvelle réalité communicationnelle. Non, on ne devrait pas sacrifier la démocratie sur l’autel de Twitter. Respectons nos institutions démocratiques et le droit de nos concitoyens dans l’Ouest de s’exprimer par la voie électorale, libres de toute influence externe.

Comme ils disent en anglais, Grow Up.

Jusqu’à la fermeture des derniers bureaux de scrutin dans toutes les circonscriptions le jour de l’élection, la Loi électorale du Canada y interdit la diffusion :

de publicité électorale;

des résultats de sondages électoraux non publiés auparavant;

a pris son essor sur Twitter, et, faisant preuve d’écoute, les médias traditionnels ont rapidement commenté le phénomène. Au delà de l’élément ludique, l’engouement Paillé sert à jeter de la lumière sur le fait que les internautes Canadiens ont profité de Twitter pour commenter le débat en direct, utilisant des mots-clics comme et pour suivre le flux de la conversation. Ils l’ont fait pour le débat, tout comme ils le font lors de la diffusion de Tout le monde en parle avec chaque dimanche soir.

Ils le font avec les débats. Ils le font avec Tout le monde en parle. Ils le font avec votre marque.

Avez-vous analysé la conversation entourant votre marque sur Twitter récemment?

Time for an update.

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a death knell.

What does this dramatic saga tell CEOs and Community Managers?

The Internet isn’t a huge place. It’s a village. And people talk. Before the average person travelled particularly far, the village he lived in was his world. There was no television, radio or Internet to keep people indoors. Villagers would look for ways to connect with one another, whether it be on the church steps after mass or spending evenings dancing to the music of a single violin at a neighbour’s house. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. Online communities aren’t that different from those villages. Divided into niche groups, they form relatively small circles with tools at their disposal to speak to one another and to share information. CEOs and community managers need to tap into their tribes and listen to them. More than that, they need to join the tribe.

Know your tribe. Really know them. If you don’t already engage with the online community that is interested in your industry or market, you’re missing an opportunity to build goodwill before a crisis can happen. Become a respected member of the community and people will not only give you the benefit of the doubt, they’ll come to your defence. Nothing should please a CEO or Community Manager more than to see that the community has his back.

Cooks Source editor Judith Griggs will certainly consider 2010 as her annus horribilis. The damage she created for her brand not only through her initial mistake but through her mishandling of the online community cause her brand irreparable damage. This all sounds very ominous, but it shouldn’t. The good news for CEOs and Community Manager paying attention to the Cooks Source soap opera? They’ll take it as yet another sign that companies and brands appreciated by consumers, who treat them right, and who engage in dialogue with them, will come out as winners in the social media space. Cultivating and working hard to deserve and maintain a good reputation has never been more important as in the age of social media.

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