A Naughty or Nice Checklist

In PR and social media we’ve assigned ourselves all these rules:

someecards.com - I don't particularly care if you've been naughty or nice

What works in marketing and public relations for one person, may not for all.

I am a strong believer of the “everyone their own way” philosophy. My way is best for ME, as I define my own rules. Yet I’d be a liar if I didn’t have expectations for others, how they should conduct themselves online. There ARE rules, socially accepted norms and professional standards of practice. There are times when you’re not walking the talk, when you are doing it “wrong.”


Do you tweet? Nice, but not required.

Do you tweet mostly about yourself, your blog, proclaim yourself an expert? Naughty.
Do you auto-DM spammy crap? Naughty!  Augie Ray’s got a plan to stop auto-DM, which is nice.

Do you @reply, retweet others, get out there and mix it up? Nice.

Do you broadcast the “ME ME ME” marketing channel 24/7? I say you’re doing it wrong and naughty.

Do you show your human side, show YOUR balance in the “personal vs. professional” challenge? Nice.

Do you overshare and Tweet things you should notNaughty.


Did you blog? Nice, also not a deal breaker.

Do you hit people with popup ads selling your e-crap before they get to know you and your blog? Naughty.

Did you respond to comments? Nice.

Do you ignore comments, respond rudely and unprofessionally? Naughty.
Do you not allow comments? I’ll say you don’t “get it” and go with Naughty.

Do you read and share other blogs? Add comments on other blogs? Nice.

Ask for readers, preach “comments and community” but rarely step outside your own blog? Naughty.

Public Relations

Do you keep your PR pitches short, sweet and on target so they don’t get deleted? Nice.

Do you broadcast fax, tweet or email spam releases? Naughty.

Do you have your experts ready to go, images ready to send? Nice.

Do you send vague, off topic, inappropriate bad pitches? Naughty to waste a writer’s time.

Do you treat journalists, editors, bloggers with respect? Nice.

Do you treat some reporters or bloggers like second-class citizens? Naughty.
Do you have your head up your ass for anyone not on a so-called A-list? Naughty.

Do you fact check, cut the bullshit, can the buzzwords and give reporters a real story idea? Very nice.

Do you retell the same old story in the same lame ass badly written ways? Tres naughty.

Are You The Exception?

Do you neither tweet nor blog nor “engage” and instead spend your time working hard, delivering great products and services that market themselves, laughing all the way to the bank? Good for you and it’d be super NICE if you’d tell me your secrets.

Feel free to add your own “Naughty or Nice” in the comments. Thanks for reading and have a very Merry Christmas.


Author: Davina K. Brewer

Professional business communications: integrated public relations, truly social media, smart design. Silos are bad, PR is more than just publicity and I'm typing here.

26 thoughts on “A Naughty or Nice Checklist”

  1. Love the thoughts! I would think of these also:

    Do you personalize your ‘thanks for the follows’? Nice (Read their bio/go to their page/shwo interest…sometimes all you can say is thanks for the follow but ‘ya gotta try!

    Do you give peeps a reason to follow someone? I have to admit when I started I just did #FF’s…now I try and let people know why they are good follows…Michelle I agree…nice

    Do you follow up on conversations you start? Nice…if no followup Naughty…that hurts relationships.

    Do you followup on issues and/or complaints? Nice if you do…naughty if you say you will and don’t

    Are you a lurker (naughty) or do you participate (nice)

    1. Kathie.. Great suggestions. I have been naughty, I don’t thank my followers very often, until we start engaging. So there is a post that’s overdue. Think we’re all agreed the suggestion to follow anyone should have a reason with it.

      Follow-up is so NICE for anything. I have noticed a few times when I’ve been ignored.. like a random tweet about X that I’m like “I love those” .. and crickets. I don’t get putting it out there if you’re not going to reply. I try to reply to everything, even if I’m a day late (gotta turn off Twitter sometime, right?).

      Only nit to pick is lurking. I do it, it’s how we learn by observation. I did quite a bit of just watching and reading before I really started to blog and tweet, so that I could figure out what I had to add to the conversation about PR, marketing and now social media. FWIW I’m just not one of those “you MUST Twitter or FB or blog” people; I know plenty of folks who are plenty social, just not online.

      Really appreciate you taking the time to comment, hope you have a great new year.

  2. I never actually follow anyone in those mass-follow lists that are retweeted, because there are too many too go through! If the purpose of Follow Friday is to get people to follow your favorites (Is it? I thought it was!), then doing a copy-and-paste of someone else’s list defeats the purpose. Just something to think about!

    I’ll check out lists that have a title, like this: “Great social media tips! #FF @soandso @thisandthat @themandthose” or similar. Giving a personal shout-out (“Thanks @yourethebest for the Follow Friday! Love your tweets about PR! #FF”) is a great way to spread the love, show gratitude, and return the favor without diluting the stream. 🙂

    Chris Brogan was doing Follow Friday posts at one time, like Gigi is. What a great way to get a regular post in while giving a well-deserved shout-out to people you really think others should follow! The icing on the cake is they’re likely to thank you publicly — and link to your blog. I love it!!

    Happy New Year, Davina!

    1. Agreed, I’ve been swept up in a few of those mass #FF retweets, sorta defeats the purpose. Plus I always check out someone’s profile before blindly following them, anyway. Thanks again, and enjoy your New Year’s too.

  3. Davina, this is a keeper! I’m forwarding it to my social media marketing newbie friends to give them a head-start. I wish I’d had one when I started out! Thank heavens for Dan Hollings, who tweets social media tips all day long, or I’d still be talking to myself and wondering why no one was following me! (Twitter: @DanHollings)

    A caveat to Jenn’s Follow Friday (#FF) wisdom:

    1) Do you blindly copy & paste Follow Friday lists you’re included in, clogging your follower’s feeds? Naughty!

    2) Do you personally thank those who include you in a Follow Friday list with a shout-out just for them? Nice!

    Love all the comments, here — this has become quite the crowdsourced post!

    Michelle for New England Multimedia
    Twitter: @NEMultimedia
    Michelle Quillin recently posted..Blazing a Social Media Trail for Health Care Professionals- Wellesley Dental Group

    1. Michelle, I agree with your caveats.. and will admit to getting lazy sometimes, thanking those who #FF me in a group rather than individually. Naughty slacker I am.

      When I do a Follow Friday, I do it blog style like @ginidietrich so that I can really explain why I am recommending the follow. I’ve seen it done on Twitter, but the 140 character limit gets me.. so I just do them as a post. Which reminds me I hadn’t done one in a while, so that’s on the list. Thanks for sharing this post, adding your comments.

  4. Davina, I am late to this list but I LOVE it! I laughed every time you deemed something “naughty.”

    My one addition to the naughty list would be: Does your blog contain an elaborate “Following” policy on Twitter where you explain what someone would have to do to EARN your follow? NAUGHTY!!!

    And to the nice list I’d add: Do you participate in Follow Friday (#FF) on Twitter? NICE!!
    Jenn Whinnem recently posted..jennwhinnem- Have you been Naughty or Nice with Social Media Use this checklist and stay on Santas good side http-owly-3vN0Q via @3HatsComm

    1. Jenn, Comments are always appreciated, no matter when!

      I have a “follow” strategy, but nothing more elaborate than following someone who: 1) is NOT a troll, spammer or douchebag and 2) shares good stuff that sometimes interests me. For people (vs. RSS feeds) I also look for human interactions like RTs and @replies, that’s about it.

      Great add to the NICE list with the Follow Friday. Fits nicely with commenting on other blogs, sharing other posts, recommending bloggers on Twitter, blogrolls, etc. Thanks for the additions, glad I made you laugh.

  5. Davina, this is wonderful, and an enormous amount of work! You’re amazing. Thank you so much for including a link to my post. It was a fun one to write, so I really appreciate being included in such a thoughtful, useful post.

    1. Nancy, You are very welcome.. think I plan to use this one again as I really don’t get “blogs” that don’t allow comments, or bloggers who don’t comment. Just not my style of social media I guess. Nice of you to stop by, share your thoughts.

  6. What a list and simple reminders! I think people try too hard to get things done rather than focus on the relationship and basic manners. I get releases and invites all the time from people that have never spoken to me or take the time to send a plain email prior to sending their information. Its not something I practice and would rather have an established connection before I send out that “what’s hot and why you need to know” list.

    Here’s one from my view:

    Do you use the info[@]yourprospect[.]com to add to your email blast list? Naughty.
    Do you CC: everyone in your list when sending media alerts? Naughty.
    Do you preface your press release email with background information and attach media types? Nice.
    @Nakeva recently posted..The Making of A Family Holiday Portrait

    1. Nakeva, Good additions, the CC is so naughty.. like way to advertise it’s a spammy blast. Duh. Only thing about attaching media.. I do it selectively, when it’s very targeted to the pitch and of course, small. Spam blockers will flag stuff, plus even if they NEED the high resolution version, the writer doesn’t need huge files clogging their inbox during the pitch stage. JMHO.

      Glad you enjoyed this, thanks so much for adding your thoughts!

  7. Do you send news releases via HTML emails en masse to a media list, just because your media software lets you? OK, not exactly naughty, but dumb.

    Confession: I used to do this (it was a boon at the ASPCA and for the most part it worked. But that was some years ago now). Now, being on the receiving end, I can see how silly this is. I’ve sworn off it.

    Do you add an editor/reporter to your EMAIL LIST once they’ve accepted a pitch from you? NAUGHTY.

    This happened to me recently. I was dumbstruck.

    Are you an “established” blogger who’s rude, condescending or arrogant to newbies? NAUGHTY.

    Do you take your online connections offline? NICE.

    Do you try to talk to random people whose tweets, posts, etc., you see in your social networks? NICE.

    Do you give credit where it’s due? VERY NICE.
    Shonali Burke recently posted..How To Be Awesome At Niche Blogging

    1. Such great additions, Shonali!

      Do you HAVE email “lists”? I keep contact info current of course, but don’t compile it all in a “send to all list,” so it’s a little naughty maybe. I know lists serve their evil purposes, but I just don’t have broadcast news or pitches for my small business clients. They don’t generate a ton of news, so the pitches are always targeted, researched, customized.

      Taking connections offline, being SOCIAL with others via your social networks is so nice. And a peeve of mine for those naughty folks who don’t seem to notice when I comment, quote, retweet or link to them. Especially when they talk the big “engagement” game.

      Giving some credit back to you, as you help motivate me and inspire to write more, mix it up and network. Who knows where it’ll lead? 😉 Thanks and enjoy your holidays!

      1. No, I don’t have email lists as such. What floored me was when someone who’d pitched me for said client blog then added me to their email mailing list (that’s what I meant). Not only that, but it had a very specific ask in it. Me: “Whoa, Nelly!”

        Thank you very much for the credit pat on the back. 🙂 Back at you… and happy holidays to you too!
        Shonali Burke recently posted..How To Be Awesome At Niche Blogging

        1. I know what you mean, I’ve had some folks add me to their email lists for well, EVERYTHING. I just don’t get the shotgun marketing approach, blasting away hoping you hit something. Anyway, credit where due. 🙂

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