The Poor PR of @TheIRD

In the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, The Institiute on Religion & Democracy was apparently silent. This was uncharacteristic, as they typically take any opportunity to use the news of the day to make a point.
I was critical of them. Not because I typically agree with their positions, but because I believed they were playing it low-key. They line up with the anti-government, neo-conservative ideology with nearly every topic that comes across their desk. I was critical because I thought – still think – that their silence was a way to avoid scrutiny for their beliefs.
Shortly after I posted my critical post, they released their first blog post concerning the events in Newtown. It had to do with how one Washington church was trying to capitalize on the tragedy with meaningful change. Shortly after that, the IRD’s Twitter account pointed me to the tweet of one of their staffers – to be fair, it expressed condolences for the tragedy. I did not follow him – I do now. Shortly after that, the staffer sent me a snarky tweet about how I should check my facts before posting to my blog.
I do.
What’s the point? I would argue that whoever runs social media affairs for the IRD needs to be better trained – or let go. If the IRD wanted the public to know they expressed their condolences, they should have released it through their Twitter and Facebook accounts – even their blog. You don’t expect that a tweet from a random staffer speaks to the public for your organization. That’s bad public relations. They, then, tried to cover their oversight with the fact that one of their staffers happened to make a statement on that emotional day – and made it their own.
Finally, they tried to besmirch my character because of an oversight of their own. That’s just poor judgement. If they didn’t want to have to deal with my criticism, they should have just ignored me. I’m a small-time blogger. However, they chose the road traveled by organizations that don’t like taking responsibility for their oversights – no matter how small they may be.
I believe the people who send their money to this organization need to know.

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