20 February 2013 9 Comments

Oscar Pistorius: 6 lessons Social Media experts can learn from his murder case

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)


Oscar Pistorius,Para Olympian, Pistorius and Reeva murder charge.A sound professional must be a keen observer. Experience is the best teacher so they say. But it can be great lesson if it is not yours. Oscar  Pistorious, the 26-year-oldouble-amputee Para-Olympian, is now in the global news. He is been charged with premeditated murder. Pistorius is accused because on Feb. 14, 2013 he shot to death his fiancée, a model known as Reeva Steenkamp at his upscale home in Pretoria, South African. Reeva had since been buried. This is not the best of time for this Para Olympian as the Prosecutor’s lawyer ( Gerrie Nel ) felt there must be some hidden information Pistorios is trying to cover up.

This incidence, if not properly managed, it may permanently soiled Oscar Pistorius’ image at the global level. He is also not taken this lightly as he has hired a British Public Relations guru: Stuart Higgins. We can only wait to see the end of all these permutations. While Oscar is still in tear and trying to work out a bail, prosecutors believed it was a premeditated murder. Whether Oscar Pistorius argument was valid or not(there had been lots of holes in his evidence) we can only wait and see.

Now for social media experts, there are one or two lessons we can learn if we have keenly followed the trend in this murder case.

Cross-check your facts: according to affidavit sworn to by Pistorius, he acknowledged they (Reeva and him) were both on the bed sleeping on February 13, 2013 which was a day to Valentine. They had both wanted to go out with different friends but Reeva suggested they spent the night together. In the middle of the night, Oscar said he had movements around his toilet and he picked his gun because he thought it must be burglar(s).  According to him, he was afraid. He did not switch on the room light and did forget to find out if Reeva was on the bed with him. Had he taken time to confirm this, maybe he could have saved himself from this. The moral, always confirm your facts before you post. Be sure

Never act on assumptions: In addition to this, what made Oscar Pistorius acted on impulse was that he had received threat letters before. With sound of movements, he acted on assumption; it must be burglars. Are you acting on assumption? Are you assuming other members of your team will know what to do base on the fact they had been with you for long? It is better to reaffirm if in doubt.

Do not let fear ruin your life: Fear can do a lot of damage to great future. Everyone, brand needs to confront fear with fact. Many have died before their real death. Great ideas have their own ‘if’. Be on guard. Get all the information you need to get. A few minutes under the grip of fear can cause life time sorrow.

Reeva Steenkamp, Social media lessons, Anger management, Murder charge against Oscar PistoriusAcknowledge and explain your side of the story: for those who followed the trial so far. Oscar Pistorius had not stopped at clarifying the fact there was no reason for him to kill his girlfriend. This may not sound convincing enough but he had kept at it. Always push forward a strong and engaging story that will enjoy sympathy no matter what.

When there is a mistake, reach out to the affected party: we know the parent, relatives of Reeva Steenkamp will be hurt, but that is no excuse for not reaching out to them. As of the time of publishing this, there is no Newspaper which has covered Oscar Pistorius’ attempt to reach out to his late fiancée’s relative. We stand to be corrected on this though.

Do not leave your image to chances: another lesson social media experts can learn is that we must not leave issue of image to chances. Be proactive. Oscar Pistorius had hired Stuart Higgins to ensure his image is not damaged beyond repair.

Are we holding brief for Oscar Pistorius? That is capital No. We just want to outline lessons that can be learnt. Do you have anything to add? Use the comment section

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