Talk About Easily Preventable…

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Prevention, Erik Bernstein, 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 Leave a Comment

Another example of a social media crisis that should have been avoided

Social media chats have backfired for large corporations like JPMorgan and McDonalds for fairly predictable reasons, yet their peers seem to be learning nothing as they voluntarily dive headfirst into troubled waters.

For those still doubting the need to consider the crisis management implications of any social media campaign, how about another example of an easily preventable incident.

Last October, British Gas posted the following tweet:

Seems innocuous enough, right? Well, what we haven’t yet mentioned is that British Gas decided to hold this little chat the same day they hiked residential energy prices by almost 10%. Still sound like a good day to ask stakeholders to share their opinions? The organization was bombarded with a combination of rage-filled and devastatingly sarcastic tweets, including these gems:






Astonishingly, British Gas didn’t back off, instead posting several tweets like the one below in an attempt to explain the price hike:


The entire situation was an embarrassment for British Gas, and Twitter users gleefully pointed out that the company was advertising for a new senior social media manager after the event.

Yes, communicating via social media is a vital part of crisis management, and PR in general, these days, but a few seconds of actual thought would have told the company exactly what to expect when holding a public forum the same day it made an extremely unpopular change. Talk about an easily preventable crisis!

The BCM Blogging Team

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