Oh dear. Well, here’s a prime case study in how NOT to do social media and PR. As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably – no, definitely – best to investigate trending topics on Twitter, before jumping on the first hash tag you see in a desperate attempt to hawk your wares…
Today Celebboutique.com got a bit too overexcited when they saw #Aurora was one of Twitter’s top trending topics. They sent the following tweet, attempting to gain some coverage for a product of theirs with the same name:
Ah yeah, it’s CLEARLY about Celeb Boutique’s lame Kim Kardashian knock off dress! Absolutely nothing to do with the horrible newsworthy tragedy that’s been unfolding all day, right? Deservedly, the tweet provoked outrage amongst a lot of Twitter users, and the Celeb Boutique account received a lot of abuse from people who felt that it had been done deliberately and insensitively. The tweet was hurriedly deleted, and a lengthy apology was issued, stating that the Celeb Boutique PR isn’t based in the U.S.
Is this really a valid excuse though? I don’t think so. Big news stories are frequently international, as are trending topics on Twitter. The tragic Colorado shooting was huge news, and I first read about it on the BBC news site, which is UK-based. If your job is to be media savvy and aware, then you can’t suddenly claim ignorance within your field of supposed expertise. If you do, then keep it short and to the point. Try something like, “Sorry – our PR is fucking incompetent.”