A couple of weeks ago, Marlene Malahoo Forte, current Attorney General of Jamaica and Member of Parliament for St. James, West Central posted on Twitter that she considered the Embassy flying the rainbow flag at half mast, disrespectful to Jamaica. See the original tweet below:
Now this tweet leaves much to interpretation but what we can take from it is that because there is an archaic law against buggery, the U.S. Embassy should not in any way promote the LGBT community, which the rainbow flag represents. For the record, the U.S. Embassy was flying this flag to show solidarity for the people who lost their lives in the Orlando shooting where 49 people died and 53 injured.
We can argue if this argument is valid or not depending on where you stand with gay rights, etc. but that’s not the point of this post.
She went further to post this tweet on June 19th after the backlash she received for the first tweet:
Here’s what we can learn from Malahoo’s mistakes:
- Be aware of online reputation management: As a dignitary or person in a high-profile position, its important to recognise a thing called online reputation management. This is where you monitor and manage you reputation in the online space. It’s fine to have a personal opinion but to broadcast that opinion to your 1,600 followers is not necessarily the way to go.
- Have one account: Malahoo currently has two social media accounts. One that is for her “personal views” and one that seems to represent her professional. However, she’s using both in the same way so its not really clear which is which. Doesn’t matter which account you tweet from Malahoo, you will still be judged accordingly.
- Have a crisis communication plan: If you do mess up, make sure to have a plan in place. The best way to handle it is to respond to each comment with an explanation and apology.