McDonald’s thought they were being sharp and getting in on the social media thing by encouraging stories under the #McDStories hashtag. It not only did not work, it backfired big time.
KJ offers a few words of wisdom to those organizations in need of a lift.
“The thing that companies need to do is think social campaigns out in detail via PR strategies for an entire year – one year at a time – instead of firing their twitter messages or campaign programs from an “ivory tower.” It’s all well and good to plan out generally for 5 years – but strategically with tactical is vital for companies, such as McDonald’s, that have ongoing reputation management issues…everything they issue needs to be well thought out and programmed against the strategy – BEFORE PR people execute a bright idea.
“Certain companies should never try a #hashtag campaign such as McDonald’s did – but that is not saying that they should not be on social media – it just needed to be thought out – someone needs to play devil’s advocate, but not to the tune of not ever getting anything done.. Every target market that company has needs to be identified in a strategy – AND all the enemies/naysayers – and how some action could potentially blow up – the use of social media can make it deadly for a company to issue something that could be attacked from too many angles.
“Crisis management PR is the game of gaining overall acceptance of many different publics….and if there are some that will never accept the company or its products, brand, etc., and then it is the job of the PR people make it so their “un-acceptance” doesn’t matter or is drowned out by the entire overwhelming acceptance (think Starbucks).
“A strategy is never set in stone – it’s always fluid…as it needs to be. A crisis management PR needs to be able to change at a moment’s notice – planning out the strategy well beforehand, working out all the possible angles that could happen, makes it so they can do so. I’ve never seen any campaign like this where this was not needed. But when it is well thought out – the switch is not that noticeable, which is the most optimum action.”
Karla Jo Helms
CEO, JoTo Extreme PR