Saturday, April 29, 2017

President's PR Crisis: Viral Facebook Post

Screenshot for the viral post from the official Facebook page of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi triggering an online PR crisis for him:

Two days ago, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended the monthly youth conference.
The Arabic unified hashtag that is used to cover conference news online was taken from a song by a famous underground band.
The hashtag is used in all posts by the President's official social media accounts. The hashtag reads Innovate & Move Forward:
The official Facebook page for our President was posting quotes from his speech.

What went viral?
The viral Facebook text post was quoting our President saying "Government debt jumped from EGP 700 billion to 3.4 trillion (3,400 billion)".

The post has been published with 2 fatal mistakes:
1- Adding the Arabic hashtag #أبدع_أنطلق
2- Ignoring a fact: The President in the video (starting minute 11) talked clearly about debt growth from 2011 to 2017, not only during his term.

Why viral?
Imagine a CEO of a company talking about debt growth from establishment date till the moment, while his body language shows him happily looking for more growth (in debt!).
It is about the context that hashtag wasn't matching at all for this specific Facebook post.

Now, imagine this same company CEO not emphasizing on the fact that debt growth was for the period from the year the company was founded 6 years ago (he was appointed only 2 years ago) until the moment!

What about President's official Twitter account?
The conference always gets trending on Twitter, which adds fuel to the fire. However, this specific was not tweeted by the official Twitter account of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Our team noticed that the order of posts published on his official Facebook page is different compared to same content published on his official Twitter account.

As posts were published 20 minutes after being actually aired on the television, we tend to believe that either an excerpt from the speech was published online randomly, or posts were published based on the Presidential social media team members own choices.

New Egypt Consulting is a digital PR & social media marketing company based in Cairo since 2011
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