CNN Fires Eason Jordan for Comments Shared by Online Influencers


Eason Jordan's resignation wasn't so much a victory for online influencers as it was a reputation management failure.

By failing to adapt the network's media relations practices in a meaningful way to work for online influencers, CNN set him up.

CNN's and Eason Jordan's mistake was trying to mandate conventional media relations tactics with digital influencers.

With technology leveling the playing field between the MSM and the public, and as the term “off-the-record” is misunderstood by most without experience in professional journalism, Jordan and CNN's public relations staff should have known better than post a statement that reads as it came right out of the cable networks legal department.

Legalese means nothing in the court of public opinion, and media relations are not grassroots community relations.

Blogs are conversations. I'm afraid I have to disagree with Morrisey that the only way CNN could have cleared things up was by disclosing the transcript or tape.

If Eason had gone onto the blogosphere and communicated directly with the bloggers by commenting to clarify his statement, that, too, would have been an excellent way to deal with the situation.

The fundamental mistake is to fall silent in the face of mounting online criticism. Someone else will do it for you if you don't tell your story. And if you try to hide behind your public relations firm, that makes the blog mob angrier.

CNN should have put Eason in a chair and encouraged him to scour the blogosphere for posts he could respond directly to with intelligent, thought-provoking commentary. That would have been an excellent online public relations strategy.

By Gordon PlattDigital Lunch Break – Highlights from Tech Politics, CC BY 3.0, Link

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