Alec Baldwin’s response to photo of Sarah Palin social media role was clumsily handled

Alec Baldwin didn’t really help himself in the glare of social media on Thursday.

There was his much-discussed appearance at Thursday night’s premiere of “Game Change” at the National Portrait Gallery, a documentary about 2008’s presidential election. There he was, chatting and posing with the presidential candidates Sarah Palin, John McCain and Joe Biden. He was asked a softball question about the photobomb when he bumped into Palin in a photo. And then he — because he has to — in retrospect, made a public response to the question that got around quickly.

“To review, Palin … of course was elected as governor of Alaska without any serious challenge, which is a pattern that other Republicans have followed as well,” Baldwin said on Twitter. “This governor learned how to deceive her audience.”

This time it was the PR team’s fault. The PR team has gone downhill this year. And so the news cycle got a big shift: Baldwin and Palin might not be friends now, but at least Baldwin got some backup from experts on social media.

“I’ve had a lot of advice on how not to speak,” said Chris Mancini, a marketing and social media expert at Mizzeo, who worked in communications for the Republican National Committee and other organizations. “I’ve had a lot of advice on how not to conduct yourself on social media.”

His solution? Not necessarily, “What do you do with your comments?” But usually, he said, people have chosen to make statements on social media by using tools like Facebook, Twitter and blogs, where they can be either publicized or controlled, and have to be very careful — just like during an interview.

“There’s a long tradition of people speaking with different headcams in different places and depending on where they are, it makes it sound different,” he said. He would advise any president or politician that they try not to be overreacted to such things — or one-shot remarks — as they would during an interview.

“A social media interview is not the place to make these kinds of comments. A social media interview is not the place to make a grandiose statement like, ‘Oh, I took Palin to dinner’ or ‘Oh, I hope she runs for president,’” he said. “It’s really, again, a golden opportunity to be trained to be prepared for that.”

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