The idea that information is so universally publicized and utilized for marketing in everyday life is here. The need for social media advertising isn’t limited to a website anymore but encompasses numerous outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, Vine, and Pinterest which require constant updating and regulating in order to keep an audience entertained. Though with information so accessible, it is also harder to please everyone and it is easy for labeling to get miscommunicated. This is where the problem lies for PR specialists, they must navigate and maintain so many different medias, ensuring that no bridges are burned.
In Porter’s “Perfect Transmissions: Evil Bert Laden”, it is shown how things can go terribly wrong with numerous pictures of Bert from “Sesame Street” being portrayed next to a member of the KKK, next to Hitler and next to Osama Bin Laden. After an individual, Dino Ignacio, thought it would be funny to make an “Evil Bert” – the idea got brought over to Bangladesh and other countries. The means of this were unidentifiable; people were confused as to why he was being used next to these horrific figures. There were so many different views that ranged from Bert being used to try to soften Bin Laden’s persona, all the way to that people across the globe were just obsessed with Bert! Two completely different ways to perceive this situation, and the only way to fix it was by public apology.
Thankfully this all began in 1998, long before the times of smartphones and social media hype. Imagine the nightmare someone would have to go through though. This all was over the internet, but if it had been today it would have been instagrammed, blogged about, Facebook statuses would have erupted with opinions, in addition to tweets and the plethora of memes that would have taken over.
Bless the PR crew that would have to tackle this to save the innocence of “Sesame Street” and Bert in this generation.