Thursday, July 08, 2004


A short while ago I noted that one can no longer keep secrets with the Internet. The proof of that statement continues to come in. The latest example has to do with the announcement of Sen. John Edwards as Sen. John Kerry's vice presidential running mate.

Which news outlet broke the tightly kept secret first? None. It was a Pennsylvania airline mechanic who popped the secret online before other news media got wind of Kerry's choice. The mechanic saw a Boeing 757 parked in a hangar and covered with paper and masking tape and bearing the logo "Kerry-Edwards." He posted his sighting onto an aviation Web site -- USaviation.com.

It wasn't until eight hours later that NBC News broke the story in the traditional media.

I say again: You can't keep secrets with the Internet. There are too many eyes and ears in the world, all with online access. Most PR counselors understand this but others don't. Openness is not a nice thing to have. It is essential because even if you aren't open, others will broadcast your secrets.

I'll give Kerry credit that he nearly got away with a surprise announcement, but the fact that he held the decision tightly and it still leaked should be an object lesson.

You can't keep secrets with the Internet.


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