Fan of the PR power of social media? Check, once again.
Connecting these ditsy dots, I propose that the much maligned Marie Antoinette had a PR problem. It’s not easy being pretty and privileged in rough economic times. It’s not easy following through on what is expected (say – outdoing the nobles in the chateau nearby). And it’s certainly not easy being married off at 14!
So what has this to do with public relations and my fave social media tool, Twitter?
“Today I Found Out” explains that Marie Antoinette did not say “Let them eat cake,” despite attribution of this phrase to the doomed Austrian-born Royal.
While the cluelessness (indifference?) of the aristocracy (the privileged?) can certainly be established, there was no media at that time to offer free flow of communication. And certainly, there was no PR machine to allow the Queen to correct rumors and assumptions in challenging economic and political times.
Do read the article (it’s fascinating), and do imagine how she might have fared with Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, and possibly her own bevy of bloggers on staff. At the very least, she could have twit-pic’d her showiest chaussures (I daresay the Roger Viviers above or luscious Louboutins would have suited nicely), Insta’d a few selfies in the magnificence of so many miroirs, and she could have repudiated constant claims of dalliances – something we’ve all been told, and which (it appears) may not have been the case.
I can’t help but think about the PR machinery we have today – the digital data points and gawking gathering spots that bombard us with bits and bites of interest.
Of course, some of the so-called news is helpful, some of it horrifying, and much of it – noise, and nothing more.
Marie Antoinette may well have enjoyed a sequined smartphone and sassy sentiments as @LoveMyLouis or @OccupyingVersailles… And suppose Her Royal Highness had traded in tweeting on #ShoeShopping for #WorkingOnBreadReform?
Hélas, was the political climate too testy to temper? Would hashtag #HeadlessHabsburgs have been inevitable no matter what?
As I contemplate our capricious communication fails, not to mention our (manipulative?) media outlets, I’m happy for the opportunities to express ourselves through opinion and spin, aren’t you? But my how I wish our politicians were listening attentively… History tells us not listening won’t do.
Image, Roger Vivier Blouson d’Eclat, RogerVivier.com.
You May Also Enjoy