A Politico reporter with limited interest in social-media engagement hit the Twitter jackpot last week.
Flying on Air Force One with U.S. President Barack Obama, she decided to snap a few iPhone shots during a "pool stop" in Saudi Arabia with ailing, 89-year-old King Abudullah. She posted the images to her Twitter account.
In a piece titled "My Arabian Night: How an Obama pool stop went viral," she describes the media firestorm and subsequent reaction from Saudis with little information about their ruler or his behind-the-scenes llifestyle.
Here's the media reaction to her unwitting images, courtesy of Muckrack.com.
If you're reading this, chances are you'll never fly on Air Force One and take serendipitous iPhone photos.
But you can learn a valuable lesson on the importance of perceived spontaneity on Twitter. Most businesses posting on Twitter rely on a few, disingenuous words to reach "followers."
Images, in popular perception, never lie even when PhotoShopped. They're credibly transparent, as we say at LieberJohnson. Photos pass a smell test with all stakeholders, including and especially media.
Try staging a few "casuals" that look newsy the next time you're looking for someting to Tweet. Forget the grip-n-grins. We're talking about you telling a compelling story by documenting an everyday event that walks your messaging talk: You at a safety meeting for a drilling operation, you talking to animated community members, you discussing expansion plans with a local farmer, you learning something new at a tradeshow.
Show something about yourself on Twitter! Don't forget - the next time you have an "incident" or unexpected blip on the media radar screen, reporters and editors will find your feed. They need easy, free and unlimited access to credible images. Serve up some positive ones. Save them the trouble of a Google search you can't control.