DiGiorno Delivers a Lesson in Bouncing Back from Twitter Blunders

You’ve likely heard the news story about NFL star Ray Rice attacking his now-wife. The incident created much hubbub and birthed the Twitter hashtag, #WhyIStayed, according to a recent piece by The Huffington Post.

The hashtag has been used to create online discussion about domestic violence and the difficult, complicated issues victims face – and the complex reasons they sometimes stay in the abusive relationship.

According to The Huffington Post, the hashtag has been used more than 92,000 times since it was created.

Well, DiGiorno Pizza got in on the discussion, except its Twitter team did not know exactly what the hashtag was about. The company tweeted: “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.”

Obviously, it was meant as a clever quip and was aimed at gaining followers, re-tweets and publicity. Jumping on trending topics and popular hashtags can be very effective social media marketing. However, it came across as more than a little insensitive to those who knew the hashtag’s purpose.

Right after posting that tweet, the company sent out another: “A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.”

Author of the Huffington Post article, Katrina Sands, wrote: “Frankly, the 140-character ‘We didn't click the hashtag’ excuse is getting old, and the public knows it. Twitter has been around long enough that you cannot justify insensitive tweets on not taking an extra 10 seconds to find out the context of the thread you're inviting yourself into. These ‘apologies’ only serve to draw attention to corporate laziness and blatant reliance on key messaging, rather than meaningful accountability. Yet too often this is still where crisis communications ends for corporations following a Twitter blunder. What sets DiGiorno apart from other brands is the steps they took after the initial apology.”

Sands continued: “Rather than take the overused road of issuing a brief apology and then skulking in the Twitter shadows for a few days until the issue blows over, DiGiorno has spent the last 19 hours and counting (as of September 10) individually replying to each upset tweet sent their way. Better yet, the tweets are not the copy/pasted, robotic messaging usually used to deal with unhappy customers by similar brands. Each tweet is original, responds directly to the concerns expressed by that specific user, takes full responsibility of their mistakes, and offers some of the most genuine apologies I have seen in brand management.”

Though blunders like these are embarrassing, companies can end up shining in the way they handle them. Looks like DiGiorno’s experience is a social media-crisis communication lesson for us all.


For more information, see the original article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katrina-sands/a-lesson-in-crisis-commun_b_5794122.html