The 50 #FAILs that forever changed corporate communications, marketing
As you can see from this handy, little graphic to my left, many of the world’s largest and social-savvy brands continue to fall foul of the social media screw-up. Or, looked at another way, corporate screw-ups are going social at an escalating pace. Just ask McDonald’s, Unilever, FedEx and Carnival Cruises, to name just a few.
Simply put, the more brands test their social side – with their marketing or PR, for example – the more they get caught out for not playing by the new rules of engagement. And, for brands that have shunned social all together, there’s no place to hide either. Just ask the likes of BP, ExxonMobil and, starting it all off, Kryptonite, the locks brand. As we chronicle in our new book, the first from SMI Publishing, there is a surprisingly rich history of corporate social media screw-ups to learn from.
That’s what #FAIL: The 50 Greatest Social Media Screw-Ups and How to Avoid Being the Next One is all about. We trace back to 2004 when Kryptonite got blindsided by an online discussion meme, and ensuing instructional videos, that revealed how to pick its foolproof locks with the hollow point of a Bic pen. More recently, we take a look at Carnival Corp’s disjointed crisis response to the fatal sinking of the Costa Concordia. In between, there are 50 examples and take-away lessons on what to do should something similar arise in your organization.
- Crap Customer Service – how the public used the social web to turn the tables on uncaring companies and forced real change.
- Plain Dumb Marketing – how tin-eared marketing chiefs learned that the public expects more than entertaining ads; they expect truth and accountability too.
- PR Asleep at the Wheel – a look at how questionable corporate comms practices can turn the most carefully crafted messages into a reputation-bruising story.
- Brands Behaving Badly – how companies have tried to manipulate the public through social media… and got caught out with some nasty repercussions.
- Caught Short in a Crisis – how the social media have turned isolated incidents into globe-spanning corporate crises and the important lessons in NOT having a social media crisis response plan in place.
- Voice of the People – we document how a fed-up public have used social media to launch crippling protests and pressure campaigns to exact some measure of good out of the brands in their lives.