It’s not fair to characterize GNN blogger Tiffany Gordon as “old school” in her preference to talk face-to-face or on the phone when discussing the issues of the day.
As Tiff writes in her most recent blog, she’s still not a proponent of social media, even if she does understand that it is a useful business tool that she is, albeit begrudgingly, trying to get a handle on.
Of course, Tiff has the day-to-day operations at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club near Calgary to deal with, so that takes priority over getting a grasp on Twitter, Facebook or whatever social media outlet that’s around.
Good on her. Golf is a people game, so dealing with people personally is not only more enjoyable, but more productive than endless e-mails and the social media discussions that go on these days.
That’s why I don’t consider Tiff “old school,” a term we like to throw around these days for people who don’t want to adapt to the times. As Tiff points out, she does use social media, but only to a certain degree.
She’s very careful with it and given the remarks made by PGA of America president Ted Bishop to Ian Poulter on social media last week that led to his removal from office, there may be more people in the golf industry becoming more like Tiff as a result.
Considering the consequences of Bishop’s “Lil girl” statements to Poulter, it’s understandable that Tweeters and other social media users within the industry are a little gun shy.
On the other hand, social media has its advantages in marketing your brand and keeping in touch with members/customers.
Personally, I think there’s more behind the scenes going on in the Bishop situation, but that aside, there’s little doubt that he reacted in the heat of the moment, which led to his infamous statements.
As Tiff points out, social media has made many people feel they are the media, which is why they find themselves as the subjects of criticism themselves.
As a member of the media for the 36 years, I can attest to the fact that an opinion often lands you in hot water and that was going on long before the age of social media.
The difference is that people who aren’t used to feeling the backlash are surprised when they become the targets themselves.
Careful use of social media doesn’t mean you need to forget about it or even cut down on its use, but being sexist is only one of several ways you land in trouble.
While the content of your message can land you in trouble, so too can the speed in which he put it out there. Don’t shoot from the hip. Stop and consider the consequences.
As Tiff pointed out in a discussion I had with her on this subject, you don’t want people to become bland or be afraid to say something that might be beneficial for a golf operation or company.
That can be like a hockey or football team playing defence all the time, instead of taking a chance on offence and making a move to help put your team in a winning position.
The Bishop incident may have people thinking defence when it comes to the use of social media in its aftermath, but like all other tools of the trade, social media needs to be handled with care.
A current event such as the Bishop controversy illustrates that so-called “old school thinking” doesn’t always provide out-of-date advice.