Who Gets to Decide When a Story is Done?

The Kevin Smith Southwest Air story continues to be discussed online and off despite Kevin’s request two days ago for everyone to talk about something else.

Wouldn’t it be nice if social media worked that way? Apparently, that is how Kevin thinks it works. He fired off a series of shots at Southwest Air gaining exposure for his experience across a multitude of channels. When he tired of the drama, he fired one last time on his blog and finished with “But, folks? Tomorrow? Let’s Tweet about other stuff, shall we? This is starting to taste mediciney and fruitless.”

Kevin’s community may follow his direction, but social media isn’t a movie where you get to yell, “CUT!” and everything stops until you are ready to start again. Social media is uncontrollable. You can start the conversation and nudge it along, but length and direction are out of your hands.

Before you get something started, thinking about the possibilities and ramifications is a good idea. The sword that cuts your target may turn on you. Southwest’s team scrambled to respond to the story. Some people may never fly with them because of the experience. But, Kevin is paying a price, too.

His press coverage focused on the Southwest Air experience instead of his new movie that hits theaters next week. And, it may continue as the actors make their promotional appearances. In the end, some people will opt out of seeing the movie.

I’m not seeing a winner here. Are you?

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  • Anna Barcelos

    Couldn’t agree with you more here Deb. Both sides could have handled this situation better, but they didn’t, which is probably why this thing just won’t die. I’m hoping Tiger Woods’ upcoming press conference will be a distraction…ha!
    .-= Anna Barcelos´s last blog ..Five Confessions of an Integrated Marketing Communications Marketer =-.

  • Debra Ellis

    Thank you for commenting, Anna. The Tiger Woods story seems to have stopped this one. We trade one bad PR example for another!

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