This week I learned that the Public Relations Society of America published one of my tweets in their print publication. I found out through a DM from Genevieve Jooste on Twitter. The tweet they used was, “Authenticity = credibility. Credibility = loyalty. Loyalty = influence. That’s how social media works.” I don’t blame them for using that tweet – it’s solid. I even wrote a blog post around this idea. What I do have a problem with is that the organization, of which I’m not a member, used an idea I wrote to promote their own agenda, without telling me.
Before you pull the ‘Twitter is public domain – they’re allowed to use it’ card – I understand this and am totally cool with it or else I’d not be here. But early on in social media, my #1 concern was intellectual property and how people can sit back and take things as their own. Fortunately, the IP law is as applicable in this space as it is everywhere else. No, I’m not accusing the PRSA of stealing an idea, as they did the responsible thing by citing me. I’m just questioning whether there’s any professional courtesy in order when you quote someone in a pub? If the quote were the result of a phone interview, I’d have known about the publishing part. But citing a tweet is like saying, ‘we overheard this from this person.’ Which I guess is cool, but feels weird. I mean, is it so hard to let the person know? You follow them on Twitter.
Yes, I was flattered. And yes, there were more tweets than mine listed. But really, if I wanted to reciprocate them by promoting their organization, I couldn’t. Because if it weren’t for someone telling me on Twitter, I’d have never known.
Would love to know what others think about this. I’m probably just being a paranoid freak.