AussieMite’s Social Media Crisis Management Revisited

We revisit the embattled Australian company’s situation after the flames die down

The hallmark of an intelligent business isn’t that it never encounters trouble, but rather how it manages to continue on afterwards.

In a recent blog post, we blasted AussieMite‘s abrasive social media crisis management for stakeholder backlash against an ad campaign. The company was certainly under siege, and although it was largely a result of their own decisions, it’s frankly not a position we enjoy seeing any organization in.

Of course we (and many other bloggers) did our thing, turning the situation into a case study and publishing our opinions. It looks like something clicked for the people at AussieMite, because suddenly tweets to both supporters and detractors contained far less vitriol. The company even reached out to thank us for sharing advice on next steps, and linked to an article where they explained their position in full:

 

 

In the (admittedly, unfortunately titled) Drum article, AussieMite director Elise Ramsey gave the public more of a personal view on her side of the situation, sharing what she’s learned from the situation, and apologizing again to those offended:

“The good thing is, I’ve been amazed that out of the thousand people I have personally emailed and said sincerely sorry for any offence caused, who have emailed me pages of dialogue saying: ‘Why would you do this you have offended our entire religion’, I have taken the time to email them all personally and responded very quickly, and they have really appreciated that, and said: ‘thank you, we support Australian businesses and support smaller companies and acknowledge that you are doing the right thing – we will buy your product and continue to support you’.

“If anything, that has been the best thing that could have happened. I am grateful that the people who were hurt and offended were open to us, saying to us ‘you have done the wrong thing, we acknowledge that’.”

Another feather in the company’s cap is its refusal to drop blame on the ad company behind the controversial video. This tactic has been used countless times by big name brands, and it always leaves a foul taste in our mouths. You approved the ad, you take the responsibility, and that’s exactly what AussieMite did.

Did this crisis hurt AussieMite’s reputation? Sure did. Is the company on the road to recovery? You bet!

In the end, a whole lot of people heard of the brand who never had before, and as long as the folks in charge cement their commitment to not making such a mistake again, they should be just fine.

The BCM Blogging Team
http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com/

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