Negative Social Media Comes Back to Bite Pastor Robert Jeffress

UPDATE: Is Perry taking our advice about social media when a conversation turns negative? Doesn’t really look like it. Here’s what he had to say today:
While Perry has largely avoided questions on the subject, he told reporters in Iowa on Friday he does not consider Mormonism a cult. And his campaign released a statement Tuesday in response to Romney’s comments vowing Perry would keep his focus on jobs and the economy. “Mitt Romney’s comments are a distraction from the fact that Romneycare served as a blueprint for Obamacare,” the campaign said.
Avoiding the topic or changing the topic is NOT how to handle a conversation that turns negative in social media.
Man, I’ve never been an Anderson Cooper fan, but he completely demolished this guy that called Mormons a “cult,” and wiped the floor with him. It’s hilarious! (From the Facebook video description – which has since been taken down – go figure)
This was the description of a Facebook video, originally viewed on CNN with Anderson Cooper, that has gone viral and is being talked about all over social networks. Here’s the video: Here’s what just a few of my Facebook friends had to say: No, this isn’t a post where I “share my testimony” about politics, faith or religion. No, I haven’t really done any additional research on Pastor Robert Jeffress (nor do I plan to waste my time doing so). But, as Anderson Cooper stated a couple times in the final questions: “Don’t you think a stand like this will only hurt Perry’s chances for the Presidency?”

Using Facebook to Spread the Word

Just from my Facebook friends alone, there were at least 197 mentions of this video within a couple hours. I’m sure most of us know the potential Facebook has for sharing content all over the world. But do Pastor Jeffress or Governor Perry really understand the power of social media and reputation management? Not only did Jeffress slam the Mormon faith, of which there is a strong following and support in social networks, but he also went on to basically slam all other religions that don’t follow his practices. And all this in an effort to support his politician of choice? Really?

Other Highlights of the Interview

Pastor Jeffress: When I talk about a cult, I’m talking about a theological cult as opposed to a social cult…(although he never explained the difference) Pastor Jeffress: And we could get into an in-depth theological discussion and put everyone to sleep out there (Anderson interrupts) Anderson Cooper: Well, I’m fine putting people to sleep as long as we educate people… Anderson Cooper: Hindus, Buddhist, Islam – Cults? Pastor Jeffress: Yes, absolutely. Anderson Cooper: Do you worry that you’re actually harming your candidate Rick Perry…clearly Rick Perry is now distancing himself…do you worry you’re damaging him?
I was happy to see articles later this evening, some event written by Evangelicals, that took a stand for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The 4 Social Media Takeaways for Protecting Your Online Reputation

1. Do Your Research

Take time to think things through before you blast away, especially if you’re talking about things that are near and dear to potential voters hearts. Jeffress should have asked himself these important questions before saying a word:
  • What are my goals and objectives?
  • Who am I trying to reach? Where do I think those people are online?
  • What online channels or social media sites might be the right fit for my business?
  • How much time do I realistically have to invest in this?
  • Am I prepared for negative conversation about my products and services?
It appears to me that he didn’t ask himself ANY of these questions or he’d be “repenting” for all the fluff he said.

2. Listen to Your Audience

Can you imagine what’s happening on Google Alerts with phrases like “Pastor Robert Jeffress”, “Anti-Mormon Pastor”, “Evangelical Pastor”, “Mormon Cult”, etc.? I wonder how this all ties back to Governor Perry and his run for the Presidency?

3. Join the Conversation

Interesting point: If you go to Pastor Robert Jeffress Youtube account, he’s turned off all comments, all likes and dislikes. Isn’t that ironic with social media? Does he really WANT to know what other people think and feel or is he all about his own $ocial agenda$?

4. When Conversation Turns Negative

What will you do if people write nasty things about you, or even worse, an issue explodes that could deliver a devastating knock-out blow to your business, or in this case, to Rick Perry’s presidential campaign? It appears Pastor Jeffress plan is to just turn off all comments, ignore the negative, and keep getting TV spots to make more of a fool of himself. If you want to do social media the right way, the most important thing to do when and if you receive negative feedback is to respond as soon as possible—and that’s true of almost any online channel. There is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake or apologizing. Most people will stick with you if you work to make things right. Rick Perry has had one of his representatives make a comment – but if he really wants to win back votes he should take a stand himself. What are your thoughts on this bad PR stunt for Rick Perry by Pastor Robert Jeffress? How do you feel it will effect his online reputation (if he had one to begin with)?

10 thoughts on “Negative Social Media Comes Back to Bite Pastor Robert Jeffress

  1. Jessica says:

    I think it’s interesting that he will accept the president’s claims to be a Christian, but refuses to believe that Mitt Romney is a Christian when the quote Anderson read, about members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believing in Christ as the only way to be saved and return to live with God, came straight from the official church website. I was shocked to hear him call all religions but his a “cult”. Wow! If I were Perry, I would stay as far away from Pastor Jeffress as possible!

  2. Nate Moller says:

    Bigotry is defined as “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.”

    I would have to say that this was a prime example of the definition.

    Thanks for the comment Jessica and for sharing on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

  3. Dave says:

    “Facebook video description – which has since been taken down – go figure”

    I’ve noticed that this video was completely deleted from every profile on Facebook that shared it. Do you have any insight as to why this would happen? Seems a little strange…

  4. Computer Software Information says:

    Thanks for your information. It is really about negative impact of social media. Thanks for interesting discussing about Robert Jeffress incident.
    It is useful for others.

  5. Mira says:

    I would also like to add that if you do respond to negative conversations, answer just once or twice. That’s it. Don’t keep on going and going and going with dozens of defensive posts, tweets, videos or whatever. You could just be digging yourself deeper into the hole.

    Post once with a real defense/apology, that’s all that is needed most of the time.

  6. Nate Moller says:

    Great point Mira. The people who keep going on and on attempting to defend themselves end up looking stupider than if they would have just said nothing.

    Do you have some specific examples in mind?

  7. briant says:

    Since I am Christian I was drawn to reading this article.. Thanks for the information. I really missed this on tv and social media but I’m glad I’ve known about this issue here.

  8. kevin says:

    That social media sure can turn around and bite. Everyone should be careful of what they say and always consider the opinion of others you can hurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *