Social media PR disasters and mistakes

Social media PR disasters and mistakes

Summary: Social media can be a double-edged sword.. how have some companies impaled themselves?

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  • Fashion designer Kenneth Cole caused outrage with a politically insensitive tweet that many believed made light of the protests in Egypt. Perhaps it was nothing out of the common way in terms of pub talk, but as social media lacks tone and businesses need to be extremely careful with how they handle the platforms, it is no wonder the comment caused nothing but bad press.

    The tweet read: "Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online."

     After Twitter users reacted angrily to the message, Cole removed the offending tweet and issued an apology on his Facebook Page: 

    “I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate. Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer”

    See also: Politicians: Think before you tweet

  • A double-edged sword, if a public relations campaign goes well, it can be a positive and profitable result for a brand. However, once a corporation asks for input in a public arena, the scheme is fraught with risk.

    A previous McDonald's Twitter campaign asked for users to contribute to the hashtag conversations #McStories and #MeetTheFarmer -- no doubt to try and collate positive experiences associated with the brand. What actually happened was the opposite, and an enormous social media storm struck the company.

    McDonald's posted a YouTube video of Potato supplier Frank Martinez, in conjunction with a promoted (paid for) tweet that appeared in news feeds across the globe. The linked tweet read:

    "When u make something w/pride, people can taste it," - McD potato supplier #McDStories

    Within a day or so, a torrent of negative comments appeared through the hashtags, which only stopped once what seems like half the Twitterverse had pitched in.

    See also: McDonald's #McStories gets 'supersized' with Twitter backlash

  • A Greenpeace campaign against palm oil policies that were considered 'unsustainable' dissolved into a row between the organization and Nestlé, which ended up spilling across multiple social networking platforms.

    Greenpeace accused the corporation of advocating an unsustainable policy on their use of palm oil, which in turn meant it was damaging the rain forest. The reaction of social media followers was to post angry comments on the Nestlé Facebook fan page.

    A mistake the corporation would commit in reaction to this negative exposure would result in antagonizing the issue further. It became defensive, and in the world of social media, attempting to quash outrage usually results in the opposite effect.

    Without professional community channels and managers, the reaction of one (or several) company individuals damaged the brand in the eyes of social media users. Without a correct 'damage control' policy in place, the actual issue was forgotten, and Nestlé's customer service entered the spotlight.

    Source

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Topic: Social Enterprise

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  • Semi-literate writing

    " of which the airline gave a total of $3,000."

    Sigh. "to which". Writers on ZD are soooooo.... semi-literate.

    And then: "Customers that loks up the profile were no doubt confused when they met tweets in Taiwanese."

    "loks up" - really?

    Ok, let's face it: At ZD, editing for such minor things as grammar, or even spelling, is clearly secondary to its mission of getting out rarely-valuable articles.
    rberman
  • Godaddy Suxx!

    As a consequence of Godaddy's support of SOPA and because of the elephant hunting "incident" (which I came to know at the same time godaddy had the bright idea to support SOPA) I decided to end all business relationship with Mr. Parsons' company and advised friends and colleagues to do the same. Just for the record I moved even accounts that weren't going to expire for the next 5 years, to completely cut any ties to with a company that not only didn't read bills before supporting them, but put the interests of its customers after that of Washington's lobbyists showing to be instantaneously ready to kiss a**.

    The animal cruelty only made me more determined to end any connection with the company and just to be clear I am not against hunting or fishing when doing so for food, but as far as I know Mr. Parsons isn't homesteading in Africa and that catch didn't have such purpose. Worse yet, it was actually justified in the lamest possible way as some sort of positive humanitarian help saying it was done to solve a problem where elephants were destroying entire harvests for the poor local communities. And that one elephant ended the problem? Does this guy and Godaddy's P.R. think we are a bunch of 2 years old?
    Obviously no footage of the alleged crop destruction was ever produced, but regardless godaddy should have never taken part in such activities even it they were aiming to "solve a problem" besides at not being in that kind of business, if it was really done to help locals, there would have been no cameras and above all no reasons to take a gruesome trophy photo. On the contrary, one would have taken no pleasure in having to shoot an elephant down. I am rather confident there would be a very numerous list of individuals and companies qualified to do that before godaggy would've been called upon. Also the right company would have been involved in removing the "problem elephant", it would have been shot with a sedative and relocated to a more appropriate remote location solving the problem for the locals and keeping the animal alive.

    Mr. Parsons should've just continue to stick to his shtick of featuring attractive chicks, leaving politics and animals alone.
    freakqnc