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#PRFail: Newport Beach Marketing Director Fired Over LAX Shooting Tweet

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / November 4, 2013)

TSA agents leave flowers and say a prayer at a memorial at LAX. Funny, right?

If you are responsible for social media in any fashion, you strive to know what is trending in pop culture. That useless knowledge actually contributes to time-sensitive tweets and relevant posts. And then, there is what Jeff Soto, former marketing director for Newport Beach, Calif. did

You’ll remember the tragic shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that left one agent dead and seven other travelers injured. While that left people reeling for days, Soto thought that would be a great opportunity to shill for his city and impress the corner office. To wit, he tweets this gem (courtesy of Mekahlo Medina of KNBC in L.A.):

I understand tourism dollars may be down with the economy, but is this fool serious?!

Oh, and this was only a short three hours following the breaking news. Sure, the tweet was deleted an hour later by the Visit Newport Beach CEO Gary Sherwin, but in social media, that is 59.59 minutes too long.

“We are appalled and dismayed by the lack of empathy and judgment conveyed in this communication – posted without proper knowledge of the situation – in light of the tragic events that transpired at LAX that day,” Sherwin said in a released statement. “Our hearts go out to the victims of Friday’s airport shooting, their families, and all who have been affected by this attack.”

Soto lost his job and if there is any justice in the world, he has since applied at the local McDonald’s to become the newest fry guy.

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