The future of damage control

January 3, 2010 at 10:00 am | Posted in social media | Leave a comment
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Sometimes a press release just won't cut it. Pic by Rogue Soul.

The other day I was busy convincing a client to participate in social media.

At the perfect moment, a dramatic case in point featured on the front page of my online daily newspaper.

It concerned the apparent inability of HP computers to track ‘black’ people’s faces.

A potentially brand-crippling (though rather entertaining) YouTube video was circling the globe (more than 1.7 million views at time of writing).

Yet just as spectacular (to my mind, anyway) was HP’s instant response on their blog.

Rather than rail against or try to discredit the man who made the flaw-demonstrating video, they thanked him for his feedback.

They even provided a link to the video!

They then admitted that they:

  1. Didn’t know the cause of the problem.
  2. Had some good ideas as to what it might be.
  3. Were working hard to sort it out.

Compare this to the bullsh*t, no-fault, no-blame, no-nothing damage-control press releases of old.

I’d just finished reading Groundswell, which predicts that scenarios like this will occur with increasing frequency. (I know I keep mentioning this book, but by golly it’s a ripper.)

Anyway, I sent my client the story and wrote, ‘If the sh*t ever hits the fan with one of your products, you need to be able to respond this fast. You have been warned.’

We’re on friendly terms. And she got the point.

Then came the ultimate irony: one week later, her company had to do a major product recall.

We’re now talking blogs.

Are you?

Business Blogs

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