Social Media can bring down even the Best Companies
Even the biggest companies can fall apart when it comes to Social media. In an attempt to garner positive tweets about its company from fans, McDonalds created the hashtag #McDStories and asked Twitter users to share their favorite McDonalds memory. Unfortunately, the hashtag was hijacked and people began using it to highlight their McDonalds horror stories, shedding a negative light on the popular fast food chain.
McDonalds is no doubt one of the most powerful brands out there. It is also media savvy when it comes to social networking, but the brand lacked a full understanding of social media attempts and possible risks. To avoid social media failures a brand should always calculate the risks of any social media campaign and decide whether there are ways to mitigate potential negative fallout. It is also important to have a strong contingency or emergency action plan should your campaign start to take a turn for the worse. This will allow your company to quickly take action, cope with potential backlash from projects that dont turn out as well as hoped and measure the impact, both good and bad, of campaigns on brands you represent.
The Communication and CSR Double Helix
It is integral for firms to capitalize on creating a solid image of Corporate Social Responsibility to act as the companys unspoken badge of credibility and trust in such times of need. A prime example is Nestlés environmental Kit Kat blow. The candy maker was targeted by the international organization Greenpeace, demanding the company to stop using palm oil in its Kit Kat chocolate bars as the oil ingredient was a contributing factor in destroying palm forests, and endangering orangutans in Indonesia.
When Greenpeace received no response from Nestle, it launched an anti-Nestle campaign using Kit Kats own slogan against it Give the rainforest a break. After uploading a YouTube video of a Nestle employee eating orangutan fingers out of a Kit Kat wrapper, the ad attracted over 78 thousand views in just a few hours and generated a huge, negative buzz on Twitter with over 215,000 tweets on the topic.
To avoid Nestlés pitfall, businesses are turning to communication professionals, who can devote their efforts to monitoring key social media accounts to make sure firms are aware of what others are saying about their brands. These same professionals are also able to react quickly and efficiently to any harmful posts or complaints with a proven plan of action that highlights the positive aspects of a companys Corporate Social Responsibility program, and perhaps even turn a negative situation into a positive one with the right messages and responses at the right time.
Egyptian Water Regulatory Agency (EWRA), CIDs communication team was assigned to develop a communication strategy and a media plan to raise the awareness of different stakeholders of EWRAs role, capacity building of the communications team, media training for spokespersons as well as supporting the formation of a crisis communication committee at the water and wastewater sector level. Recently, our communications experts has presented the different communication activities during a coordination meeting that is held every six months between the two European funded projects providing technical assistance and institutional capacity building to EWRA and the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater. The event, held on June 18th at the Cairo Marriott Hotel, was attended by the former Minister of Utilities of Water and Wastewater and former Minister Water Resources and Irrigation. It also included representatives of the Ministry of State for Environmental affairs and the different entities in the water sectors including The National Organization for Potable Water and Sanitation and The Executive Body for Drinking Water Projects and Sanitation in addition to a selection of media reporters.
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