Category Archives: strategic reputation management

Jenny McCarthy’s #JennyAsks Hashtag Hijacked

The dangers of social media self-promotion

Twitter hashtag hijackings have become a common form of both protest and entertainment for the Internet crowd. McDonalds has run awry of this several times recently, most notably with its #McDStories campaign that drew out thousands of extremely creative, and often stomach-turning, tweets tweaking the company, as also happened to Quantas airlines, Walgreens, and many more.

Now, you can add actress/model/TV host Jenny McCarthy to join the list, after she faced the wrath of Twitter users. Here’s her (seemingly benign) post that kicked it all off:

Seems pretty harmless, right? That is, until you consider the fact that McCarthy has been an extremely vocal anti-vaccination activist, a position that has those on the other side of the debate heated up (a debate we’re not going to touch with a ten-foot pole, in case you were wondering). Within 24 hours, pro-vaccination posters had completely and utterly hijacked the #JennyAsks hashtag, with tweets like these summing up the type of sentiment expressed by most:



Here’s the deal – before starting any hashtag campaign, it’s smart social media crisis management to consider how it could be used against you, and exactly how much impact a hijacking could have. While negative sentiment may circulate either way, creating a way for your detractors to connect and focus their energy, and attracting many more who are simply game to jump in on the latest trollfest for fun, is often a #badidea.

The BCM Blogging Team

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Tips for Social Media Crisis Management Success

You WILL find yourself doing social media crisis management sooner rather than later

By now pretty much everyone will admit the need to be prepared for social media crisis management, but far fewer can honestly say they’re ready to cope with a breaking situation.

In a nice infographic, 360 Public Relations shared eight vital ingredients to success when planning for and managing a social media crisis:

We would respectively disagree a tiny bit with the contention in Point 5 that you can ever really “control” the conversation – but you can manage it.  Tips like this are a great way to help yourself put together a solid plan, but reading all of the advice in the world won’t leave you prepared. Plan, then practice, monitor for flaws, and practice again til you’ve got it down pat. That’s how you really protect yourself from a social media crisis.

The BCM Blogging Team

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Should I Post This? A Social Media Flowchart

To post, or not to post?

In today’s business world, it’s important to build your own personal brand online. This means that, just as any business would, you need to set some crisis management rules for yourself in regards to what you put out there for the world to see.

One common mistake, with far-reaching consequences, is sharing things you really shouldn’t on the ‘net. Whether it’s a picture of that “awesome” party you went to last night or a rant spawned by a bad day at work, a lot of things get published that could lead to negative perceptions of you, or the organization you represent. Of course, our own Weiner Awards are evidence of that!

We recommend anyone who uses social media sets firm rules on what they will and will not share, and this infographic from should help get you started:

The BCM Blogging Team

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Reputation is Your Most Valuable Asset

Without a strong reputation, your organization is in serious trouble

We have a saying that is core to our crisis management, and really, business as a whole, philosophy – “your reputation is your most valuable asset.” Never has this been more true than in the past few years, and as far as we can see the importance of protecting your good name will only continue to rise.

To help prove that point, reputation management firm Digital Firefly has created an infographic that actually illustrates the relationship between reputation and your bottom line, have a look:

The BCM Blogging Team

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Crisis Management Musts: Media Trained Leadership

If you’re not ready to be the face of your organization, don’t take the helm

When you’re the face of your organization, you need to understand how to interact with the media. It doesn’t matter if you’re CEO of a corporation, captain of a football team, or, as in the wrong-way example we’re about to look at, Superintendent of schools, you have a responsibility to represent your organization to the fullest.

A Boston teacher stands accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with a student in Maureen Sablonski’s district, the type of situation that will (understandably) have reporters lining up for comment. Now, the Superintendent decided that she was fine with holding a press conference to discuss the situation, but things got weird from there.

Here’s what went down, as described on the 15-Seconds Blog, an amazing resource for analysis of media interviews from every niche imaginable:

Apparently, Sablonski held a news conference but instructed the media not to take video of her face. Amazingly, they complied and only showed the back of her head.

The Sup’s explanation for the bizarre order was that the story was not about her — and therefore her face was unneeded.

Her inexplicable action resulted in Fox 25 doing a five minute segment asking what she had to hide, whether she had some sort of phobia, and questioning her judgment. Note: five minutes is an eternity in TV. The segment ran twice as long as the original story about the accused creepy teacher.

Now that your interest is piqued, here’s the video:

Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

It’s obvious that Sablonski either didn’t consult a crisis management expert before making this call, or if she did their advice was ignored. When you’re delivering details on a crisis situation, the LAST thing you want to do is give the media reason to dig for further negative info. You can bet those reporters are smelling blood in the water now, and will gleefully try to track down more wrongdoing from Sablonski’s district. Who wouldn’t?

The BCM Blogging Team

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