And now for today’s Cluetrain moment:
Who owns the social media mission in your company? The public relations team most likely. Sorry, make that the press relations team — as the modern PR professional doesn’t talk to the public directly, but to them through the press. Handling the unwashed masses and mobs with their pitchforks and torches was usually the lot in life of the 1-800 telecenter drones and the hapless ticket agents in the terminal. Social changed all that. Now that neat blog you built to talk about your chili contest and good works with the local Walk For Hunger, the one the PR team uses to ghost expressions of empathy and good cheer from the CEO?; well now the comments are stuffed with a lot of people with dirty faces and tattered hems calling bullshit and pointing out your lack of clothes and complicity in the death of the orangutans and polar bears.
You can’t measure ROI from your Facebook pony when its stable is full of poop. Consider Nestle and be warned. When flaks and spinmeisters meet the mob, the result is predictable. There Will Be Blood. From Slate:
“Enter Facebook. Nestle has a Facebook page, and until this week it was a quiet backwater. But on Wednesday, defenders of the rainforest and its orangutans began to visit, illustrating their profile pictures with various clever permutations of the Nestle logo — “Nestle Killer” — and making a series of mean comments about the company. The powers that be weren’t pleased. At 11:26 p.m. Thursday night, the moderator of the page posted on the Nestle Wall:
To repeat: we welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic — they will be deleted.”
(and a disclaimer, my PR colleagues get this stuff, and we don’t hang them out to dry in our various outposts, they get support from people who know the Golden Rule)
via Nestle’s brave Facebook flop – How the World Works – Salon.com.
3 thoughts on “When PR Meets the Mob”
Another example: IHOP. I participated myself to post on their FB page to encourage them to use cage free eggs. They kept deleting and deleting and as of now have agreed to “investigate” the idea, which at least for now has caused a cease & desist.
Looks like a local bakery here near Raleigh could/should have read this above article.
Cord Silverstein writes about this on his blog in a post entitled “CrumbGate: a Case study” where he also lists some other related posts on the controversy.