Social media PR horrors that could really scare you

By Alyssa Clarke

You often see a number of public relations disasters occurring time in and out in various industries but only few of them are scary. Instead of looking at the scary aspect of these social media PR, you should try to draw some lessons out of these and move on. The article discusses few horrifying social media PRs which will help you in understanding them and then devising a competent strategy to avoid such situations for your businesses. These render you enough opportunity to learn and grow in your business life. You can certainly use them as examples to develop a competent recovery plan to avert such state of affairs. Let’s have a look at these.

United Airlines ignoring the conversation: In the year 2008, Dave Carroll a professional musician boarded the flight for Chicago wherein his co passenger noticed some callous handling of bags from their airlines employee. The handler was seen throwing away the luggage in a ruthless manner which comprised Carroll’s guitar worth 3500 dollars. When the flight landed, the guitar was seen in a mutilated state. The musician was seen fighting for the next few years against this ill treatment and unprofessional behavior carried out by the United Airlines employee and asked for compensation. He was later seen uploading humorous videos about his guitar damage saga over YouTube. He was seen in the video demanding an apology from the company which later compelled the United Airlines to do so. They even donated an amount 3000 dollars to an institute as per Carroll’s request.


Dell attempts to end the talk: In the year 2007 a former employee from Dell kiosk was seen posting a list of 22 different confessions over a site called The list showed a number of things which the company employees were trained with to get big sales from their clients. Dell was seen responding by sending an email to delete this post from the blog. However, Consumerist was seen putting this email from Dell on their blog as well. Later Dell followed the case and mailed again threatening some legal action against this blog post which was also seen over the blog post. Amidst all these, the story turned out to pretty viral in just few days, when finally Dell was seen posting their confession over their blog.

An employee from Domino’s Pizza doing strange things: Another scary social media PR occurred in 2009. An employee from Domino’s pizza was reported making a video of trying something really weird and disgusting to the food to be served to the forthcoming customers. The video went viral over YouTube and eventually had a record million views. The company though was seen firing out these employees, but the brand had to face the vilification in the market.

Chrysler losing hold: In the year 2011, one employee based at social media agency owned by Chrysler tweeted a couple of new media strategies over Twitter bringing in an outrage between consumers and Chrysler. This update was sent through the Twitter account of ChryslerAutos which spoke very offensive kind of words in the tweet, however, Chrysler was seen responding instantly by simply deleting that tweet and was not seen renewing those contract with the new media strategies. The employee who jotted down this tweet was fired.

How to stay away from committing such sins
Such scary social media PR horrors do occur at various point of time but just reading them out with fun and callousness will bring you nothing. Remember you could also be at this side of the grass, so to avert such state of affairs you need to follow a couple of rules. These could include, be honest in your online activities and communications along with hiring right people which can help you and your company move on. Making a person with tainted work history or “not so impressive” background to handle your social media campaign could make you suffer more than you have imagined.  So do your homework first before handing over this crucial responsibility to anyone.  Also, make sure you have proper guidelines on social media for your employees to make sure that they know what boundaries they aren’t supposed to cross. Lastly monitor your online reputation time and again. These rules can help you get away from these scary and horrified kind of social media horrors. And if at all any such horror happens don’t lose your calm. Think wisely and act quickly.

About the author: Alyssa Clarke is a blogger who also happens to be a tech freak. She is always on a look out for tech stuff and is currently hunting for a cool 3D monitor and a gaming mouse.

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