So now that I have been talking for so long about the problems with crisis managing through social media and all of the trouble that can be caused by it, it would be nice to have a good example of how to do it properly. There are plenty of companies that properly crisis manage over social media, which is why it has been so helpful to the public relations industry. It is always a companies worst nightmare to have something go wrong on social media and not be able to properly recover. One of the best examples of how to respond to a situation like this that I found in my search through was about KitchenAid and a mishap that they had on their twitter that was similar to a case I talked about earlier on this blog.
A couple of years ago a rogue tweet was sent out from their account that was obviously meant to be tweeted from an employee’s personal account:
Of course after this extremely offensive tweet was sent out a huge Twitter storm broke out about it. People were calling the company out all over Twitter and many people were in an outrage about it. KitchenAid quickly took the Tweet down and sent out multiple apology tweets to their customers and even directed one specifically at Obama. They even made sure to respond to some of their customers on Twitter or Facebook and apologize. Not only did the tweet get taken down very quickly but they were able to personally communicate with a lot of their customers and help them understand how sorry the company was. The bigger point of this post is to talk more about what they did, in this case, is that they were able to follow certain points that all crisis communication through social media should follow.
The bigger point of this post is to talk more about what they did following the situation, they were able to follow certain points that all crisis communication through social media should follow. Not only following these events did they send out tweets to all of their customers, they were able to send our an official press release addressing the issue head on.
In this press release, they were able to condemn the employee’s actions and distance the company from the individual’s actions. But along with doing this, the company was also able to claim full responsibility for the action and apologize again to the public. This press release gave them the perfect opportunity to do what all companies should do during a crisis, respond quickly and openly, humanize the brand and show compassion for the people affected. It also gave them the chance to tell their fan base what they were doing about the problem, which was firing the individual responsible for this tweet.
This example is very important to the history of crisis communication through social media. It shows companies how important it is to not only be timely in your response but to also be totally honest about how the situation occurred and what you as a company are doing to fix it. It also shows how important press releases still are even in the age of social media crisis communication. KitchenAid handled this situation very well and many other companies should take the tip from them and treat a social media crisis communication situation the same.