"Epic Twitter Fail": The Brief, Bumbling Life of @CRBcleveland


A City of Cleveland spokesman told Scene Monday that after the Community Relations Board’s recent social media debacle, the “only Twitter account related to the city’s messaging” will be @CityofCleveland.

Blaine Griffin, director of the city’s Community Relations Board, made headlines last week when he asked the internet, from the Twitter handle @CRBcleveland, if Cleveland should burn like Baltimore.

Then he asked again.

Councilman Matt Zone and others were outraged. Even those residents frustrated with the city’s protracted, feeble response to public safety issues acknowledged that Griffin’s (potentially literally) inflammatory remarks might not be the most sterling example of how to effectively “solicit conversation from younger people,” which Mayor Jackson identified as the goal of the Twitter campaign when it launched the previous Saturday.

"He got to the point where he got caught up in [aggressive Tweets] and got off message and the purpose of the account," Jackson said in a press conference. "So he reacted. And his reaction did not go well for him or anyone else."

We should say so. Not only the incendiary Tweets, but the whole account, was deleted in the aftermath.

Jackson acknowledged that Griffin was a valuable asset for the city and said he gave his cabinet member a strong verbal reprimand, but it looks like they’ll be taking their “communication and outreach” efforts in a new direction.

But Jackson has certainly acknowledged that communication and outreach are key, especially as the Michael Brelo trial, the DOJ Consent Decree, and other sensitive, complex, public safety issues are forcibly resolved or else continue to inch toward actionable steps forward.

“We are planning for a variety of contingencies and are being very proactive in both communication and outreach,” Jackson wrote in a letter to residents last week. “We are partnering with community and faith-based leaders, corporate entities and individuals to foster an environment that informs audiences about the changes taking place, while recognizing the importance of listening and engaging with all parties involved.”

It looks like Twitter will no longer be a prong in the city’s outreach strategy.

A shame, too.  

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