Yesterday, while I was contemplating a very healthy salad for lunch, Pres. Barack Obama was down the street from me at Duff’s ordering chicken wings. Bummer! It was a missed opportunity.
Of course, it would have been difficult to position myself for an opportunity to meet the president for lunch. That part of his itinerary wasn’t made public. I suppose I could have driven around Buffalo and its suburbs hoping to catch a glimpse of his motorcade, or at least walked to restaurants in my neighborhood hoping to bump into him. In retrospect, I think staying in and eating a salad was a wise use of my time.
But a comment made during the president’s visit to Buffalo does make me think about how nonprofit organizations can make the most of opportunities. You have probably already heard that while Pres. Obama was at Duff’s, one of the customers gushed, “You’re a hottie with a smokin’ little body.”
What if someone made a comment like that about your CEO? What if a positive but irreverent comment popped up on one of your social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook or your blog?
Would your CEO be offended, demand that the comment be obliterated and order you to stop using social media?
Or would your CEO follow the example of seasoned politician Obama, who took the comment in stride? Obama hugged the customer who made the comment. In a jovial way, he remarked that his wife, Michelle, would be catching the TV footage later. He had his photo taken with the woman.
That little comment about Pres. Obama has traveled around the world. It’s perhaps the most discussed part of his visit to Buffalo.
Did it take away from his messages about the economy or health care? Perhaps. But it painted him as a warm and genuine human. Organizations should always make sure there’s plenty of time for that.
What’s your take? How do you deal with comments in social media and other channels? Please share your comments.
UPDATE: It turns out that Pres. Obama wasn’t ordering chicken wings down the street from me at the original Duff’s in Amherst; he was at Duff’s in Cheektowaga. I didn’t even know there was a Duff’s in Cheektowaga! Now I feel better about eating my salad!
Fundraising Assets helps busy fundraising professionals raise more money, save valuable time and reduce costs. We offer consulting, writing, design and production services for direct mail and e-mail fundraising, social networking and more.