Social Media Crisis Management #Fail: The Secret Plumber

Erik Bernstein crisis communications, crisis management, Crisis Prevention, crisis public relations, Crisis Response, Erik Bernstein, Facebook, internet crisis management, internet reputation management, Jonathan Bernstein, online crisis management, online reputation management, PR, public relations, reputation management, social media, social media crisis management, social media reputation management, Twitter, Weiner Awards Leave a Comment

Twitter is not a private discussion, your statements are there for all to see!

The UK Twitter crowd got their own show of spectacularly bad social media crisis management earlier this month, and it all started with this tweet:


Typically, having the driver of your company van called out for dangerous driving would draw an immediate apology and a stern discussion with whoever was behind the wheel. However, after another user advised Nicola to go to the police upon hearing details of her confrontation with the vans driver, the @secret_plumber account fired off this gem:

“”@secret_plumber: @TheMiniMesAndMe @nicolalalalala report what u bunch of fannys? Ur shite driving lets go””

Good start, right? What followed after was a meltdown reminiscent of the Amy’s Baking Co. debacle, complete with threats of violence, grade-school insults, sexual slurs and an awful lot of poor grammar. If you’d like to view a whole slew of since-deleted posts, Social Stampede’s chronicled them in an imgur gallery for your enjoyment. The madness didn’t stop at Twitter either, with discussion quickly spilling over to the Secret Plumber Facebook page, and nasty replies from what very much appears to be the same person popping up left and right there as well.

Suddenly, after nearly two days of pure social media fail, The Secret Plumber’s Twitter and Facebook accounts were wiped of previous posts, and the following notice was put up:

Post by The Secret Plumber.


Problem is, this argument was as leaky as the pipes Mr. Hogg works on for a living. Numerous social media users took it upon themselves to point out that the @secret_plumber account was tweeting with location tracking on, and that the vast majority of inflammatory posts were made from the very neighborhood which holds The Secret Plumber’s office.

As of now, just about every post made to the company’s Facebook page is being deleted as quickly as it goes up, something those of us with experience know only bolsters the resolve of those trying to spread word of a businesses’ bad behavior.

The activity on social media will eventually die down, but the numerous blogs, image galleries, and mainstream media articles chronicling this social media crisis management fail will likely haunt The Secret Plumber for years to come as anyone searching online will quickly come across an incredible pile of negativity. You can definitely expect to see this bozo near the top of the pile for the 2013 Weiner Awards.

The BCM Blogging Team

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