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Bad PR is a strange thing. In new companies, it can generally be used as a learning curve, and damage control is possible. But what happens when a supposed PR 'expert' breaks out of the concept's core values and throws themselves to the mercy of the Twitterverse?
Mufadal Jiwaji used to work as a graduate trainee at Public Relations firm Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Tweeting about Grace Dent, TV Critic at the Guardian and restaurant reviewer for the London Evening Standard, he serves as a wonderful example of how not to blend PR and social media.
The Public Relations firm kept quiet about the Twitter conversation, but considering Jiwaji's swift apology, the lesson was quickly and painfully enforced.
At the same time a union dispute was in full swing, Australian airline Quantas decided to launch a Twitter competition offering a first-class gift pack and Quntas pajamas for its followers.
Using the hashtag #QuantasLuxury -- which is still active -- the airline asked Twitter users to send out this tag in order to enter the competition.
However, the users in question decided to hijack the tag for their own ends. Rapidly, the tag trended with complaints of delays, cancelations, and commentary on the union strike.
Quantas has a reputation for generally responding well to individual tweets, but their marketing campaign was nothing if not ill-timed.
The Red Cross was left red-faced when their social media specialist Gloria Huang released a personal tweet on the company's Twitter profile by accident.
The tweet was noticed and taken down after an hour, but it had already been on the American Red Cross Twitter feed for some duration.
The social director of the organization, Wendy Harman, deleted the message following calls in the middle of the night. Huang later posted a message on her personal Twitter account to apologize -- blaming the error on her novice use of social media platform organizer Hootsuite.