It’s always great to see politicians taking on the new world of media and becoming proactive on social media. Francois Legault, leader of the recently formed CAQ (Coalition Avenir Québec, translated: “Coalition for the Future of Quebec”) in Quebec, Canada, is one such politician. Incidentally, with his new found hobby and lack of experience, he found himself in a Twitter firestorm last week, when he tweeted that “girls attach less importance to pay than boys”.
This Tweet was founded by a recent study by the OECD on gender equality, but Legault forgot to back his Tweet up with a link to the study, inevitably coming across to many as sexist.
Well, you can imagine the Twitter-storm that broke out due to this simple lack of a reference!
Legault was quick to address the attack by clearly stating that “Some people think that I am sexist. Those who know me, know very well that I am not”, and supported his offending tweet with the study by OECD.
A lesson in the making
Legault’s Twitter initiatives, once seen as a positive interaction with his supporters is now being questioned: Will his lack of experience damage his and the CAQ’s chances at an election? I think not. Although he’s inexperienced and managing his account himself, he’s proving to be real and responding to less than complimentary comments and accusations with tact, facts and a refusal to waver. Good for him!
If he takes this recent situation and learns a valuable lesson from it – A tweet is short, needs to be supported with a link to facts (when appropriate) and is not retractable – he should do just fine in his continued attempt to connect with the Quebec people and grow his party favourably.
In fact, such a lesson is valuable to us all!
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.