A Teachable Twitter Moment, Courtesy of the Baldwins and Their Tormentors

Alec Baldwin

Did she or didn't she? That is, did Alec Baldwin's wife Hilaria Baldwin tweet about "amazing recipes," wedding anniversary presents and her appearance on the "Rachael Ray Show" while sitting at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York during actor James Gandolfini's funeral service on July 27?

According to an article published by the U.K.'s Daily Mail, that's exactly what she did, which led to an obscenity laced, threatening tirade on Twitter from Alec Baldwin directed at the Daily Mail reporter who wrote the article. Baldwin's Twitter account has since been disabled.

Alec Baldwin, in his tweets, denied that his wife used her phone while at the funeral, according to the Guardian and CNN, and the Daily Mail itself reported that the Baldwins may have left the funeral early and Hilaria may have tweeted from her car.

PR News does not have the forensic capabilities to determine if Hilaria Baldwin tweeted niceties while at the funeral, and we don't want to be hunted down on the streets of New York by her husband. We will say that the Daily Mail, in its scandal-sheet fashion, did all brands a favor by reminding them of the importance of context in social media.

In their tendency toward over-sharing and relentless promotion, individual and corporate brands can easily turn a blind eye to the current news cycle or even to a crisis brewing internally, and consequently come across as insensitive and tone deaf. Most important, during a large-scale tragedy, scheduled posts must be shut down.

If you're interested in learning more about Twitter etiquette and best practices, particularly during a crisis, Dallas Lawrence of Mattel, Inc., will be leading an interactive crisis management clinic at PR News' Next Practices Annual Conference on Aug. 6 in San Francisco.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI