While I was critical of Chrysler’s response to the inadvertent F-bomb tweet, I have to hand it to them for their response to this as seen on their corporate blog. I noted in my first post that my headline suggested they fired the errant tweeter but I quickly changed this assuming (correctly) that since this was an agency employee Chrysler could not fire and likely would not ask the agency to do so.
Here is their blog post by Ed Garsten, which goes to some length to explain their reaction was appropriate given the sensitivities raised by their high profile ad campaign.
A couple of comments–while this is a good response, it shows how important the initial reaction was. Their biggest problem in my mind was saying their account was compromised. Those initial responses and first moments or hours after something like this are so important, but how did you get the information, the perspective, the strategy right when things are still unfolding. We are simply going have to learn how to buy some time without making things worse, I think.
Second comment. Doesn’t this all strike you as a bit of a tempest in a teapot? So someone posted a comment to a wrong account. It happens. I think the real reason this is getting so much attention (headline stories in two of the top public relations blogs/newsletters) is because it highlights the vulnerabilities of reputations in this new era of direct engagement. Black Swans popping up out of the blue. Things going sideways before you can slide the “slide to unlock” button on your smart phone. The priority on speed in response. The challenges of big organizations being nimble enough to nip these things in the bud. Social media policy and how to enforce it. These are the real issues and they are near top of mind for many concerned about reputations. So, while this may be a small thing made big, it is an excellent example of the new challenges and vulnerabilities.
We learned much from Taco Bell’s “thank you for suing us response.” Now, we are learning from Chrysler–both dangers and effective strategies.