Handling a social media faux pax

I love this! Not the faux pax (actually, the faux pax is hilarious), but the brilliant way it was handled:

In February 2011, someone mistakenly tweeted from the American Red Cross account something that was meant to come from that person’s personal Twitter account. The tweet involved beer.

The American Red Cross said in their blog about the event:

We realized our honest mistake (the Tweeter was not drunk) and deleted the above Tweet. We all know that it’s impossible to really delete a tweet like this, so we acknowledged our mistake

And they acknowledged it with both a humorous tweet and this blog.

And here’s the kicker: the Twittersphere immediately embraced the mix-up and many pledged donations to the Red Cross! The beer brand that was named in the accidental tweet, as well as the micro brew community, jumped on board and further encouraged donations to the Red Cross.

Kudos to the American Red Cross for not putting together a crisis communications response committee, spending hours / days in meetings on developing a response strategy and then issuing formal apologies written in corporate-ease. No, instead, you handled it immediately, with humor and common sense, and knowing your supporters would do the same. You have cultivated meaningful relationships with the public and supporters for many years, and that cultivation paid off. That’s the kind of resilient, responsive, dynamic approach that will keep the American Red Cross around for another 130 or so years.

Other national organizations… they aren’t even reading this blog right now but, instead, are in a communications meeting to discuss if, perhaps, they might want to start posting to Facebook, or if, instead, they want to ban on use of such by their employees and volunteers – their fourth meeting about such in the last 12 months…

Red Cross – you are full of win!

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