COLUMBIA -- No matter if you're calling the state Department of Corrections or the tourism agency, every caller should hear the same message: "It's a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?"

Despite the state's fourth-highest unemployment rate in the nation, Gov. Nikki Haley told her Cabinet directors Tuesday that government workers should give the upbeat greeting when they answer the phone.

"It's part of who I am," the governor said. "As hokey as some people may think it is, I'm selling South Carolina as this great, new, positive state that everybody needs to look at."

Seems everyone has an opinion about Haley's 12-word pick-me-up, with hundreds of social media reactions.

Cheryl Elaine Hunter told the governor on her Facebook page, "That's fantastic! Service with a SMILE (at least in the voice)!"

Sean Matthew Smith posted, "How utterly ridiculous."

To Teresa Kopec, a stay-at-home mom from Spartanburg, Haley's greeting mandate might be well-intended, but it is in poor taste.

"When most people call state government, they're usually unhappy," Kopec said. "It's usually not a great day or they wouldn't be calling."

Haley said the greeting is good for morale, and it will remind government employees that they work for the taxpayers.

Kelly Davis, president of the Columbia-based Davis Public Relations and Marketing, said the idea is a pure branding concept.

"When you have that consistency, it may be the first impression that people get of the state of South Carolina," Davis said.

Reach Yvonne Wenger at 803-926-7855, follow her on Twitter at @yvonnewenger and read her Political Briefings blog.

Sign up for updates!

Get the latest political news from The Post and Courier in your inbox.