In two recent blog posts, Rugby journalist Dan Retief, author of The Springboks and the Holy Grail, looks into the PR disasters resulting from Springbok captains and other famous sportspersons taking to twitter to share their thoughts. One of Retief’s own tweets, based on another article he wrote, earned him a rap over the knuckles from Springbok captain John Smith, because Retief questioned whether or not the Springboks have the same level of desire to win as they had in 2007:
Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, apparently defined the truncated cell phone social medium as “a short burst of inconsequential information” and likened it to the ‘chirps from birds.”
Innocuous statements in less than 140 characters but as a newsman I have long been aware of the snares that await the unwary “tweeter.”
Recently for instance Stefan Terblanche was slapped with a hefty fine by Sanzar after breaking their code of conduct on Twitter during the Super Rugby campaign.
The windswept links of Sandwich are far removed from the craggy heights and green pastures of New Zealand – as far apart I suppose as Darren Clarke and John Smit.
Okay, you could say they share a body shape but you can hardly compare the sedate activities of a golf professional with those of a professional rugby player so you may well ask where this column is heading?
For once I’ll get there quickly. It goes to an answer I have given to a question I have been asked each time at the conclusion of speeches I have made recently with my book and the forthcoming World Cup as the subject.
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