Fresh from one not one social media marketing fiasco but two, the owners and managers of the Pittsburgh Steelers are considering banning players from using social media. Seems to me that’s a little like telling your kid not play with matches. If they are stupid enough (and eager enough) to burn the house down, they will find some other way to do it if you take the matches away. It is a much better idea to bring in a social media expert to educate their players about the power of social media as a marketing and publicity tool. Perhaps then they would think twice before Tweeting something that only their mother would love (and even she might not like what she reads.)
In the wake of Rashard Mendenhall’s cringe-worthy Osama Bin Laden moment on Twitter, there’s probably a contingent of people who think that the Mendenhall should probably run anything he’s firing out onto the Internet by someone in the PR department.
Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times wants to take things a step further, though, and have the Steelers keep everyone on the team off of social media.
“When the NFL labor dispute ends, the Steelers should: Bar players from social networking,” Madden wrote on Sunday. “No Twitter, no Facebook, nothing of the sort. No tangible good can come from it. Only stupidity.”
Madden also wrote that the Steelers should “order Mendenhall to apologize.”
Though I’m not sure what Mendenhall should apologize for — “My bad for having an opinion, exercising my First Amendment rights and then not apologizing enough in my original apology, you guys!” — it’s the first point that bothers me more.