Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

Posts Tagged ‘Social Media

Slice of Crisis Comms to go?

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Fast food contaminations continue....

One thing that has engulfed the blogosphere and web this week was the antics of some people with the IQ of a salami finding pleasure in flatulating on someone’s fast food order. Now this is nothing new. For years urban legends have been around about employees of Mc Dougals spitting in hamburgers or Ken’s Fried Chicken ejaculating into the coleslaw so this was no surprise that bored pizza employees would do this, but two things did surprise me:

The first surprise was the PR buzz that this created on the web. Incidents like this have been around in one form or another from the dawn of time – and well before the internet was ever invented. Imagine the PR office in Rome when they caught wind of the Semon on the Mount? The obvious thing to PR professionals is: it’s not the buzz, but the response, and in a situation like this, the speed of reply. Whether a member of your staff has soiled a burger with body fluid or your drunken employee has just sailed 1.5 million barrels of crude oil onto a reef in Alaska, getting out the message as quickly as you can is the most important thing to limit brand damage. And in situations like this no-one does it better than the airline industry.

In crisis situations I think every PR professional, regardless of industry or vertical sector, should take a leaf out of the airline industry’s book- and I’m surprised Domino’s didn’t. These people are crisis comms veterans. They have bibles of the stuff and every time a plane goes down they roll their communications out with surgical accuracy. More importantly, the airline industry has a knack of moving the focus of the story from the loss of life, which is devastating to any brand, and onto another factor in the story which takes the brunt of the blame. Whether it is debris on the runway or a hero crew member – shift the focus and the story will contain itself. This is where Domino’s missed the boat.

By focusing the story on Twitter, YouTube and social networks bringing the culprits to justice, how this was global netizens working together to weed out injustice and wrong doing, I think the story would have taken a better turn. This would have taken the focus away from the apology and turned a negative into a positive. BA did this brilliantly with the Boeing 777 that came down at the end of the Heathrow runway – focusing on the ‘heroic’ crew to distract from questions about BA’s maintenance record- and I think Domino’s should have done the same.

Their comms may still shift, but speed is now of the essence.

Matt L


Written by pilotlight

17/04/2009 at 10:54 am

Getting social with social media

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Feathered geeks

The brouhaha surrounding social media is reaching a crescendo; is it a good thing, does it bring people together and can it drive business, or is it a waste of time, bad for productivity and, well, just so last season? There are no definitive answers and every Tom, Dick and Sally has their own opinion. But for what it’s worth, social media is here and here to stay no doubt.

MySpace graduated to FaceBook, and FaceBook has upgraded to Twitter, but what’s next? No-one has a crystal ball about where this phenomenon will go, but we can shape and mould its future – after all we are all part of the numerous communities that social networking and tools such as Twitter bring together.

This is why I’m excited to be able to get together with some fellow ponderers this Friday that my first ever Tuttle Club event. The event seems fairly fluid and is open to anyone, meets every Friday and is to “sit, chat, drink coffee, eat delicious cupcakes from the bar, do some work, meet old friends, find some new workmates, stick around for lunch, start an exciting new business, plan a rave… whatever bag you’re into,” according to its web site.

Attending with my colleague Beth, I have no idea what we might learn or take away from the event, but that is the whole point of going to new things and sharing ideas – the surprise outcomes that occur. I do have one certainty though…. I very much doubt we’ll be planning a rave.

Sara Driscoll

Written by pilotlight

05/02/2009 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Blogging, Web 2.0

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