The Tony D Radio Show
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Thu, March 5, 2015

Social Media: Lethal in the hands of those untrained

There’s no question social media now occupies a huge place in our day-to-day interactions and the newest form of communication shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, the medium will continue to expand, and provide individuals and businesses alike with exciting new opportunities. But for all the good that comes with outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the potential for disaster exists and in recent days has too often become the headline for numerous athletes. Curt Schilling, Leveon Bell and Marc Trestman have all had their own unique run-ins with the medium which leads me to the thesis of this piece. If you’re a public figure of any kind, HIRE SOMEONE … ANYONE … to either manage your account or at least verse you in the potential pitfalls of the medium. All of us are human and prone to react with emotion from time-to-time. The difference in the past has been the non-existence of a public forum in which opinions, however emotional they might be, are immediately disseminated to the masses with no filter. When you put it in writing like that, it’s easy to see why such a forum can be so dangerous. But back to the purpose of this post … there are a number of athletes and other public figures that utilize their social media accounts for nothing but good and I applaud them. That’s not to say they don’t have emotion or overreact like the rest of us from time-to-time -- they are human, afterall. No, the difference is their understanding of the medium and subsequent ability to avoid potentially negative situations.

And perhaps I should expand this piece to include everyday individuals – whether you’re a Hollywood actor, a Green Bay Packer quarterback or Paul from Menasha, working to provide for his family, social media can be a disaster waiting to happen if you’re not versed in how to use it. Attacking athletes with vile language might seem like some kind of joke at the time (although it’s one I fail to see the humor in), but as illustrated by the story with Schilling, the ill effects are lasting and can follow someone for a long time. Bottom line, treat social media like a potential weapon; effective in the hands of those trained to use it but potentially lethal to one’s pubic image if not handled properly.

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Marques Pfaff's Bio
As someone who grew up in Holmen, Wisconsin, I – like most people in this state – have spent a good portion of my life rooting for every team that calls the Badger State home. As a kid, I would make the weekly, fall pilgrimage from Holmen to Madison to take in Badger football games with my dad at Camp Randall Stadium. I was there when Jump Around debuted, I was there when Jamar Fletcher picked off Joey Harrington three times in a win over Oregon, and I was there when Ron Dayne broke college football’s all-time rushing record. They were some of the most exciting experiences of my youth and may likely contributed to my choosing UW-Madison for college. While there, I was given the opportunity to walk on to the football team. I didn’t stay long but I did have a chance to put the pads on and run out of the Camp Randall Stadium tunnel. It’s something I’ll never forget.

It was during my college days that a passion for radio would also develop. After spending three years working for WIBA and WTSO in Madison, I took my first full-time job with WSSP radio in Milwaukee. This was a tremendous experience as I had a chance to cover virtually every team I loved watching. That said – despite my love for all things radio – I was offered a great opportunity in Las Vegas to work in public relations for many of the major sporting events that came to town. I took it and would wind up spending the next six-and-a-half-year in the desert. Many of those years saw me working in college athletics at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV). It was a tremendous experience and one that will always lead to me referring to Las Vegas as my second home.

All of these experiences have contributed to my perspective on sports and I look forward to sharing that with you every day from 2 to 5 p.m.
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