The digital newsletter is a great way to strut your custom content, expand the reach of your email marketing campaign and enrich your overall digital engagement strategy. Even better — it’s virtually foolproof; the only way that a digital newsletter could possibly destroy your brand is if you weren’t paying attention to the content and what was being printed was offensive, inflammatory and even racist. Thankfully, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul already made that mistake so you don’t have to! Paul recently displayed some truly dunderheaded brand management (or mismanagement, as the case may be) and we can all be a little wiser thanks to his idiocy.
First off, let’s get this out of the way. It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican or even if you vote for aliens. Paul’s mistake is not one of party lines but of a brand lacking any thought or strategy. In case you haven’t heard, Paul is currently in deep doo doo over newsletters he published in the ’80s and ’90s which featured the politician’s signature brand of straight talk. The problem with the newsletters in question is that Paul says he didn’t write the crazy racist passages that are now being quoted by every news outlet on the planet. Paul says a staffer wrote the articles in question and that’s the only explanation he’ll give. He’s even getting testy about it — he walked out of a CNN interview when questions about the newsletters arose.
Keeping far away from the icky content of the newsletters and even ickier politics involved, the big problem here is a loose cannon of a brand with zero accountability. If any of our small businesses acted like Paul and then didn’t accept responsibility, we wouldn’t be in business for long. The main marketing mishap here is that if Paul didn’t write those articles, then he took the sin one step further by not triple checking the content that has his name on it. Conversely, if Paul did write the wackadoodle articles in question, then he needs to fess up and accept his fate.
Either way, it’s a classic what not to do with a newsletter or blog or social media post. We’ve seen brands like Marc Jacobs get bitten in the back by not monitoring who is in charge of their social media postings. We’ve seen business blogs get mismanaged by untrustworthy sources. Companies big or small have to carefully and thoughtfully create content for their brand or, like Ron Paul, pay the price for not paying attention.