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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.