I had an exchange this afternoon on Twitter with a local Dallas businessman by the name of Eli Hernández. Eli is the “EVP, Marketing and Public Relations” of TheEyeWorks, an ostensibly web-savvy PR and Marketing firm.
Eli had discovered, several days after the story was hot news incidentally, the topic of the young woman out in Florida who very unfortunately lost her son due to an accidental drowning. I won’t rehash my take on that, as it’s plainly available over at SiliconANGLE (“Social Media Gone Awry: When Mommybloggers Attack”).
I thought I’d just share our conversation here, and then ask a few pertinent questions afterward.
He kicked it off by tweeting out the headline, linking to a CNN source.
He responded as I’d expect someone would who only read the headline (as opposed to reading the full story.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt and encouraged him to read the full story.
He, inexplicably, mis-quoted Voltaire. The actual quote is “Common sense is rare.”
At this points, our tweets were crossing each other, and it’s hard to see which thread I was responding to. I responded:
He responded with continuing displays of ignorance to what the details of the story were:
He ignored that reply and instead tried to pass me off as the ignorant one.
I called him on it:
He resorted to making jokes.
I blocked him.
He confirmed that he did, indeed, enjoy making jokes about women who just lost their two-year-old children to accidental drownings.
Later comments from Eli indicated that he thought this was some sort of fun little “food fight.” I’m sorry, but I don’t consider what happened in this story at all funny or amusing. The thought of losing my son, which is the nightmare
this story conjured up for me, struck me as a real possibility, since no one knows when tragedy could strike.
After my conversation with Eli here, though, I was struck by another thought.
I wondered what his clients at Christ for the Nations (a bible school here in Dallas) might think about his cavalier attitude about life and death. I wondered what Watermark Community Church in Dallas might think about his sangfroid in this? I wondered about the International Convention of Faith Ministries, and if this was the type of PR person that they’d want to employ to represent their organization.
It’s important, particularly if you’re in PR for organizations with moral positions, that you not act immorally online. More specifically, if you’re going to market and publicly represent churches and Christian organizations, it’s probably not a good idea to make fun of women who just lost their two year olds to tragic accidents earlier that week.
If you do, some jerk like me will call you out on it.