The recent brouhaha over the post by social media influencer, Kat Arambulo, has once again, showed just how social media can be either used properly or in this case, be somewhat abused. Moreover, it highlights a key lesson in basic public relations: it’s not what you say that matters but how you say it. And the post that Arambulo made that has sparked outrage and anger among many netizens clearly reinforces this adage.
For those who may not know the issue, it started with a rather angry social media post where Arambulo ranted about the obstinacy of people who did not heed the call of the government to stay home in the face of a Luzon-wide community quarantine. The social media influencer went into a diatribe against generally every one and in some instances, even resorted to expletives. Needless to say, this did not go down well with those who saw the vlog and it was reposted it again and again. Unsurprisingly, netizens reacted with equal venom and even more colorful profanity.
To her credit, she apologized, somewhat, but I can say that this will most likely cause some to view her in a different light. Will she bounce back from this? Certainly. People very easily forget.
I have to say, however, that while I agree that she made a very relevant point, sadly, the point was all but lost because of the anger that the post generated and thus, failed to see the point being made, which actually made perfect sense. Instead, the post became a focus of collective anger and disgust.
This clearly shows how important it is to craft your message if you want your audience to digest. Besides, what is the point of a creating a post of any kind if you don’t want people to see or view it.
Had Arambulo made an impassioned appeal, sans the curse words and phrases and sweeping statements, perhaps, just perhaps, people would have appreciated the effort more. Who knows? Maybe even agree with her. Better yet, heed her appeal. instead, she was seen as unsympathetic, mata pobre, and uninformed and was herself vilified and brutally insulted in return.
At a time when the country is in the grip of a public health crisis, insulting people will not and does not help in any way shape or form. There is always a way to say things that will not go down the wrong way.
Even though your social media asset, be it Facebook, IG, a blog, a vlog, YouTube, is personal, it does not give the owner carte blanche to insult people in so sweeping a manner.
these social media influencers should realize that since they count many people
as followers, they are expected to behave more responsibly because of the
unseen but very real power they wield. Power, in any form, must be used
responsibly and used for the betterment of others and society, in general.
More importantly, since influencers are now marshalled by many brands, often taking the place one held by actors and celebrities, they should be cognizant of the fact that they are the face and voice of the brands and therefore, have a responsibility to behave accordingly. Whatever they do and say in their social media asset or blog or vlog reflects on the brand they represent. And no brand wants that kind of representation.
In this age of instant celebrity and social media power, we can and should all learn from this.
It is not what you say but how you say it.