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 public relations 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 like it came right out of the cable networks legal department.

Legalese doesn’t means nothing in the court of public opinion and media relations is not grass roots community relations.

Blogs are conversations. I disagree with Morrisey that the only way CNN could have cleared things up was by getting the transcript or tape disclosed.

If Eason himself 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 real mistake is to fall silent in the face of mounting online criticism. If you don’t tell your story, someone else will do it for you. And if you try and hide behind your public relations department, that just making the blog-mob angrier.

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

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

Join My Weekly Webinar


Weekly video chat on the latest earned, shared and owned media tools and trends.

Digital Marketing Podcasts

B2B Lead Gen Podcast

The podcast about how B2Bs use tech to generate, qualify & convert leads to revenue.

Podcast edition of a live, weekly video chat about the latest developments in PR Tech. Join us at

PR Tech Wednesdays Podcast Edition by Eric Schwartzman

On the Record...Online

The podcast about how technology is changing the way organizations communicate, and the way people consume media and information.

On the Record Online Podcast by Eric Schwartzman