DJ’s offensive tweets have long-lasting effect

By Collin Lessing, JVA Marketing/Communications Coordinator

Let me start off by saying I am big fan of NBA basketball. I love the athleticism and strategy involved in the game, and I appreciate the impact that NBA Cares and individual athletes make through their philanthropic efforts. When working in the Harlandale School District in San Antonio, I saw firsthand the commitment that many of these athletes have for improving their communities.

Last night, after I finished watching the San Antonio Spurs’ playoff victory over the instate rival Dallas Mavericks, a friend directed me to the Twitter account of a DJ from Dallas’ The Ticket 1310 radio station. What I read on the page was appalling. Following a profanity-filled rant about the game, the DJ had made an offensive comment about San Antonio’s Hispanic and Latino populations. Not only was I offended by the blatant racism in his tweet, my blood was boiling because it was racism directed at people in the city I grew up in—the people who have been my friends, family, teachers, coworkers, mentors and community. It’s hard not to take that personally.

Soon after the tweets were posted, they were deleted from the page in what appeared to be an effort to erase the evidence of the late-night diatribe. Immediately, I was reminded of a lesson that we teach in our social media trainings at JVA Consulting: Although most social media platforms allow you to delete content after you’ve posted it, you should have the mindset that any content you post is “out there” permanently.

Affirming the lesson above, the story of the DJ’s remarks, including complete transcripts of his deleted tweets, is making its way across the media wire. By mid-afternoon today, the DJ was suspended from the air.

At JVA, we aren’t worried that our training participants will produce social media content like that of the DJ in Dallas. We simply want to emphasize the importance of being thoughtful and deliberate when posting content.

One of the appeals of social media is that it’s fast and fun. In just 10 minutes per day, a nonprofit organization with a plan and a purpose can maintain a healthy social media presence. When posting content, take an extra minute and ask a coworker to look over your shoulder to see if your Facebook post makes sense and resonates with the mission of your organization. Double-check to make sure you used the correct spelling of “there,” “their” or “they’re” in your tweet.

It’s important to remember that the content you post is a reflection of your organization and an extension of your marketing activities. Being deliberate in your organization’s approach to social media will require a couple of extra minutes each day. The result will be content that well aligns with your organization’s goals. You’ll also find yourself relying less on that “Delete Post” function which we are learning often comes too late.

JVA Consulting specializes in training on social media, nonprofit boards, fundraising, grantwriting, leadership and evaluation. To see what trainings are coming up in May, click here. To become our friend on Facebook, click here.

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