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Dear Mitt: Remember the Camera is Always On

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnB0NZzl5HA&feature=player_embedded Dear Mitt:

It pains me to have to write this note to you.  Frankly, as a two-time presidential candidate and former governor I would think you knew this.

Let me say it clearly: the camera is always on. Again, THE CAMERA IS ALWAYS ON.

Mine is not a partisan message. I write about social and news media and just want to pass on this advice.

The video of you speaking openly to a crowd of millionaires has the potential to drain any momentum you had in your campaign. It plays right into the whole "he can only relate to other millionaires and billionaires" thing.

Being on the road, you probably missed our recent post on this: Remember One Phrase to Avoid Viral Embarrassment where I talked in detail about the false expectation of privacy in a social world.

Especially in a race for the highest office, you should assume at all times that you are speaking to the world and stay on message. It works effectively, since all of your stakeholders should be hearing the same messages anyway. This is media training 101. Now you have a crisis communications and reputation situation.

I know it's easy to be lulled into openness when you're in a small room with people who make you feel comfortable. Look, it happened to Tiger Wood's former caddy, who uttered racial remarks about his former boss at a late night dinner on the other side of the globe.

But you should know better. You need to be on message at all times. Your comments about 47% of American's lacking a sense of personal responsibility, that they see themselves as victims, that you would fare better in the election if you were "born Mexican" are not your campaign messages.

I mean, think about it: in the video you have waiters all around the room who are likely not well-heeled Republicans. In fact, from the camera angle near the waiters' station, one of them may have planted this camera.

The point is, for you and all of us in a social world, the camera is always on.

See you in the debates,

John