Campaigning is essential in getting your name out there. How will people know you exist if you just hide behind your computer screen all day? Many different kinds of activities campaign, like Politicians, charity organizations, and even independent authors. Not all publicity is good publicity, though. No matter how rich and successful you are, the voices of the internet are blatant, extreme, and critical. By placing yourself on the internet, you are opening yourself up for opportunities like the NYPD just experienced.
Many of you probably heard about this, so I’ll keep my summary brief. The NYPD wanted community members to tweet pictures of the police department, as part of a campaign. They expected pictures like the one showing above. But the online community jumped at the opportunity for brutal honesty and criticism.
They got pictures like…
and who can forget my favorite
Don’t get me wrong — I hold the utmost respect for police officers, and I really admire and appreciate their hard work and dedication (even if it means a parking ticket or two… or three…)
My point is that campaigning doesn’t always go the way you plan, and that we can count on the internet to speak for all of the people. Even though it can be a Pandora’s box, like the NYPD experienced, I love that people can voice their frustrations and be heard. How many news stations show the kind of stories the #mynypd campaign got? Before the campaign, virtually none.
I think the main takeaway from this experience is that when you put yourself on the internet, you should not be expecting a shower of love and praise — unless you’re Jennifer Lawrence. While your supporters will speak out for you, definitely be expecting the critical ones. Often, the critical people speak the loudest and most often. You also can count on hearing some very honest opinions, that are completely more than willing to share their point of view.
The NYPD handled the situation well, and at the I have a link posted that goes to the news story if you want more details.
Keep this kind of reaction in mind when you start putting your work online. Your responses won’t be as harsh as the NYPD’s were, you need to be prepared to hear the bad feedback, too.