While I’ve seen some minor arguments take place on Twitter, one huge blowup occurred on Wednesday that simply left me in amazement.
A technology reporter for the National Post, David George-Cosh, blew up at April Dunford, a marketing consultant in Toronto. The fight occurred after Mr. George-Cosh was looking to speak with one of Ms. Dunford’s clients for a story, but did not get his calls returned. He preceded to leave her a nasty voice mail that she Twittered about, which drove Mr. George-Cosh to the edge.
He then began a full-fledged Twitter attack on Ms. Dunford, while she did her best to handle the situation calmly and reasonably. Read her first three posts here, here and here, then follow the rest of the conversation in the image below:
While we clearly don’t know the particulars about their working relationship, there is one thing I found particularly interesting:
In one of Ms. Dunford’s original tweets, she says Mr. George-Cosh told her that when a reporter calls you jump. While I think that is generally true (because part of PR is helping out reporters too), there are some situations where companies do not want to comment or be included in a story. I have been in this situation and it’s never fun explaining to a reporter why your client is ‘unable’ to speak with them, which can sometimes rub people the wrong way.
Clearly it’s best when reporters and PR people can establish a good working relationship, and I think this event shows that reporters need PR people too, something which can often be overlooked (hello TechCrunch).
And if you’re going to throw a fit, don’t do it on Twitter for everyone to see.