A designated tweeter for appliance giant Kitchen Aid posted a crass remark about President Barack Obama’s deceased grandmother during Wednesday night’s presidential debate on the company’s Twitter account rather than their own, according to an article from the Chicago Tribune. The mistake was promptly deleted from Twitter and the company’s quick and humble response is being seen as a well handled response to what could be a public relations nightmare for the brand.
The head of the Kitchen Aid brand, Cynthia Soledad, quickly responded to the crisis by apologizing to President Obama, his family and brand customers. Soledad also tweeted to journalists and websites for an opportunity to “tell their side of the story.” She even told Mashable in an email that the person responsible for this tweet will no longer be working for Kitchen Aid, expressed her deepest apologies to Obama and stated that “the tasteless joke in no way represents our values at KitchenAid.”
Scott Kleinberg of the Chicago Tribune calls this one of the top 10 well-handled social media mistakes and offers up the following suggestions on how to prevent something like this from happening in the first place: First, brands should make sure employees have two separate Twitter accounts for personal and business. Next, the company should have a clear social media rulebook so employees know how they should tweet and what they should tweet. This policy should be in effect at all times of day and regardless of working hours. Last, a company should have a social media crisis management plan in effect so the organization doesn’t have to scramble on how to handle it post-event. Kleinberg even suggests not tweeting about politics altogether if you don’t work for a political brand and does not see a distinction between professional and personal tweets.
Kleinberg’s latter suggestion certainly would avoid these types of mistakes completely, wouldn’t it?