Last week, while the Presidential candidates were duking it out on stage in Colorado, another battle was waging behind the scenes on Twitter. During the debate, President Obama attempted to rebut Romney’s healthcare voucher program by analogizing a story from his dear, sweet grandmother’s life. Immediately, amongst the many people exercising their free speech rights on Twitter, someone posted:
What normally would have been passed off as a tasteless joke by some rude Tweeter, received immediate attention from all. Why?? Because of the small detail that the tweet came from a well known brand that many mothers and grandmothers use on a daily basis….KitchenAid. Uh Oh.
It was quickly discovered that the person writing the tweet accidentally did so from the KitchenAid account and not from their own personal account. While the tweet was only up for a short time, it was there long enough for others to see, respond, and even page capture the image (as seen above). I am assuming that this employee is no longer with KitchenAid and definitely should not be anywhere near social media. The reality is that issues similar to these can happen with any company at any time.
In this situation, it appears that for the sake of KitchenAid’s brand name, there was a happy ending. As shown below KithchenAid’s response was timely, appropriate, and a model for how a social media crisis should be handled.
Cynthia Soledad, Senior Director of KitchenAid Brand immediately took the reins, accepted full responsibility, explained the situation and apologized to everyone and the offended (Mr. Obama) personally. She then sent numerous tweets to news outlets and invited them to contact her for further information and a statement. I am not sure if KitchenAid had a formal Social Media Crisis Response Plan in place, but it appears that they had planned for and discussed what they would do if a situation such as this arose.
How would your company respond if something like this occurred? Have you discussed social media crisis situations with your managers and employees? What type of Social Media Policy do you have in place to help prevent something like this from happening? Have you provided safeguards and educated your employees sufficiently to deter these types of social media faux pas?
Remember the old adage, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. At Avalaunch Media we are experts in helping to protect your company from the pitfalls of social media misuse. For more information and to find out how you can start protecting your business, visit us at: https://avalaunchmedia.com/social-media-compliance
11 thoughts on “KitchenAid Whips Up a Good Social Media Crisis Response”
Great post Shaine. I only wish I could have shared this story during my SMX East presentation on social media compliance last week!
Thanks, Dave! There is always next conference. 🙂
You can’t really fully prevent things like this to happen, but when they
happen they can leave bad consequences. That’s why every company should
have some kind of plan if this happens.
I personally believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to use Social Media for personal gain. I see the trend following the route as so many others.
Hey, it can happen to anyone. The best thing you can do is offer a sincere apology. A reasonable person will get that it was a mistake.
I’m all for tweeting exactly what you think, and Twitter is a place for free thinkers, but at least check that it’s your own Twitter account before doing something like this!
The damage has been done. You could pacify people with an apology, but your company will always be tainted with this.
Thank you for sharing this sort of awe-inspiring post with public. With this, people will able to learn certain important facts and learning this fact is very much essential. Apart from this, it is interesting to hear various and different type of opinions regarding manage of social media errors.