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This week, the social media world farted. OK, well maybe not farted, but that’s how Todd Defren put it in his most recent post: “In Social Media, Everyone Can Hear You Fart.”

Todd Defren is the Principal of SHIFT Communications, a major communications firm, so he definitely knows his stuff. His blog, PRSquared, is a must-read for anyone looking to get an honest to goodness look into the communications world. However, back to the point: earlier this week, Kenneth Cole‘s official Twitter account released a tweet that was nothing short of shocking and um, graceless.

The text of the tweet was as follows: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at [LINK].”

Tasteless, yes. Terrible, yes. But it did give communicators (like us) a good reminder. You need to THINK before you tweet. In the case of Kenneth Cole, they weren’t thinking about how their messaging (the tweet) would impact the overall perception of their brand.  When you’re crafting your messages for your company, make sure that you understand that every message you send connects back to your brand image. Once ruined, that brand image can take months, years, or possibly never to repair.

Also, it can lead to spoofed Twitter accounts that can further damage the brand, like this one:

Read Todd Defren’s blog post. It gives a recap of the event as well as an analysis. Plus, it’s a good read, including the comments.

Keep this in mind if you’re planning on using Facebook, Twitter, a website, or any other type of new media in your strategy.

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