Public Relations Co Down Northern Ireland

News & views

'The Black Tweet' - David Cameron Isn't The Only One To Lead With A Woolly 'Black Sheep' Tweet

Posted by Kirsty McQuoid on Monday, July 15, 2013

Given the fact I have some great examples, I thought I would bring attention to the 'funny' trend on Twitter which evidently is not #trending on Twitter. This trend I am coining as 'The Black Tweet', there are other names used I'm sure and please do enlighten me with yours, but for now I am tagging 'The Black Tweet' to any tweet that unwittingly cites a parody Twitter account, shares a broken link, send tweeps off on a mission impossible, reading an article only subscribers can access, or lastly those tweets sending tweeps on a wild goose chase only to be hit up the face by the webpage door number 404.
So who is responsible for the 'The Black Tweet', or in other word words, who is on the 'Black Tweet List'.  In answer, we all could be and most us share the odd 'Black Tweet' including me! and unwittingly retweet the ever so barren 'Black Tweet', which some may say is a bigger social media Faux Pas...? 

Over the past week, I have unintentionally had a field day gathering up a couple great examples of what I have now coined 'The Black Tweet'.

1) 'Black Tweet' culprit number one - FAKE IT TO YOU MAKE IT

We've all seen and heard of David Cameron's Twitter tweet faux pas this morning.  In this 'Black Tweet' instance the UK Prime Minister unwittingly cited a parody Twitter account which Downing Street assumed belonged to that of Ian Duncan Smith.  The @IDS_MP account, a joke Twitter feed in the guise of Smith, simply discusses the latest political stories in a jovial manner and UK mainstream media had a field day, this 'Black Tweet' created a 'media storm in a tea-cup' and the parody tweeter 'Smith' got his or her 5 minutes of media glory and jokingly replied to Cameron's tweet by saying: "Chin chin, Dave. Round mine for a Pimms later?"  This occurrence must be a political parody Tweeter's pinnacle Twitter accomplishment!

This 'Black Tweet' has left Number 10 Downing Street's door wide open to UK media backlash as print and online media were quick to pull David Cameron's woolly sock ups!  The Independent newspaper responded by tweeting  "Do 'too many tweets make a t**t?', Cameron mistakenly mentions spoof Iain Duncan Smith account on Twitter". 

Your guesstimation of what 't**t' refers to is probably a word that is not too sheepish in nature!

So, is Cameron the biggest 'Black Tweet' offender?  Hmmm, keep this on the QT (RT if you wish), but Twitter itself is a culprit of the cringe worthy 'Black Tweet' faux pas. 

2) 'Black Tweet' culprit number 2 - THE BEST & WORST TWEETS 

How could Twitter itself publish a 'Black Tweet'? Well, Gordon MacMillan Editoral @TwitterUK tweeted one of my favourite 'Black Tweets' on 10 July.   Here is the 'Black Tweet' Gordon MacMillan @gordonmacmillan circulated:

"One of the best Twitter threads ever between , , & "

Ironically, Gordon's Twitter thread wasn't one of the best Twitter threads ever... because this Twitter UK Editor tweeted a broken link, which slightly took the edge of my anticipated reading on "his thoughts" on "best Twitter threads ever between..." 

Interestingly though, once his fellow Twitter colleague & I tweeted Gordon to inform him of his 'Black Tweet', the link magically appeared fixed!  So if you publish a 'Black Tweet' and work for Twitter, although they can't pull the wool over our eyes, they can 'fix' the actual tweet, something us mere Twitter mortals can only dream of!  (At least for now...)

I kept my favourite to last, and hope you'll appreciate this next 'fine' example of a PR un-sheepishly making a back-firing 'Black Tweet'. Fantastic on so many levels.  ps. Unable to embed this hilarious botched attempt tweet or 'Black Tweet' but below I explain it:

3) 'Black Tweet' culprit number 3 - NEVER INTERRUPT YOUR COMPETITION WHEN....

London, Sydney & Tokyo PR agency co-founder & principle advisor Mark Wells @mwprmark 'Black Tweet' made 12 July, below is the tweet published by Mark after the first tweet published took us to door 404.

"Try again... ...The basic rules of PR: Never interrupt your competition when they are making a mistake."

I, however 'had' to interrupt Mark Wells 'my competition' ;) as he made the 'Black Tweet' mistake of tweeting a link that was broken.  Evidently, if Mark's tweet worked, he was 'interrupting' or bringing attention to a 'cool' photo of a Starbucks promo van displaying a rather unsavoury brand image!  Needless to say, when I pulled Mark up on his 'Black Tweet' it brought a whole new level to the meaning of 'never interrupt your competition when they are making a mistake.

I'm sure you have some fine examples on what I've coined 'Black Tweets' and I have made a few myself, although none woolly as funny or poignant as the above three examples. 

Let's hope the PM sees the funny side to his 'Black Tweet' :)

Another Pimms anyone...

Tags: "the black sheep tweet - david cameron leads the way"