Scott Walker tweet fails at history

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker celebrated the first settlers arriving at Jamestown, Virginia by completely destroying the date in which they actually arrived:

Nope.  The first settlers came to Virginia in May 1607, putting the actual number of years at 408, not 505.  Hey, what’s 97 years among friends?

The tweet was corrected 50 minutes later:

Obviously, this is not too bad of a mistake, but the fact that it took 50 minutes to correct shows that the Governor’s staff needs some assistance in the Twitter department.  The first responses to the tweet which noted the error were sent mere minutes after it was sent:

But it took 50 minutes for the tweet itself to actually be corrected.  My guess?  The Walker team knew that they had made an error but couldn’t figure out the best way to handle it.  And that, in and of itself, shows exactly why you need a social media crisis management plan: When a mistake is made, how are you going to handle it?  50 minutes is an eternity in social media time, and many of the stories published noted that the tweet was “still up” when the story was written.

And one more thing: “505” is not a typo for “408.”  That makes no sense.  Someone messed up their math, and that looks stupid.  There was no need to lie about what happened: All the Walker team had to do was tweet out “Sorry for the mistake: Previous tweet should have read 408, not 505.”  The lie was unnecessary and silly.

To that end, regardless of who you are, it is vitally important that you and your organization have such a crisis management plan.

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