WRM: Fails that Could Have Benefited from Reputation Counseling

Fails that Could Have Benefited from Reputation Counseling

If you’ve spent long enough on the Internet, you’ve probably seen at least a few companies that could use professional reputation counseling. Either they didn’t know what they were doing or they didn’t fully think through something before putting it out there. Here are just a few companies that needed better reputation management.

Examples of Poor or No Reputation Management

One of the most famous, or perhaps infamous, examples of a company that failed due to tone deafness is clothing maker Kenneth Cole which, in 2011 during the Cairo protests, tweeted, “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is available online at [URL redacted] – KC” Not only did this make them look like they had no idea of the severity of events at the time, but it also seemed like the company was trying to take advantage of major strife in the world. This led to international outrage and a serious impact to their revenue for the year that could have been avoided with good online reputation advice.

Another example on Twitter happened when American Airlines merged with US Airways. While this was undoubtedly a major event that required everybody to work very hard to make it happen, they seem to have set their Twitter account to respond to any mention of them with “@[user] Thanks for your support! We look forward to a bright future as the #newAmerican. bit.ly/ARRIVING.” This was particularly embarrassing when many of the tweets were jokes, sarcasm, and insults to both companies. Never leave your social media on auto pilot. If you can’t have somebody manning it, don’t pretend that a real person is there.

Of course, you don’t need Twitter to cause yourself a bigger problem than you already had. In 2010 Greenpeace tried to apply pressure on Nestle to get them to stop using palm oil, because the process of manufacturing the product was harming orangutan habitats. Greenpeace’s viral ad campaign had thousands of people posting on the Nestle Facebook page with comments, many of which were quickly deleted. Nestle further posted, “To repeat: we welcome your comments, but don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic—they will be deleted.” The majority of those deleted comments, however, did not do that. This caused another round of renewed outrage that resulted, 10 weeks later, in the company stopping the use of palm oil under immense pressure.

Hiring Professionals

In all of these cases, the companies in question didn’t even realize that they were making a huge blunder. That’s why they should have hired a top quality reputation management company, such as RepManagement.com. The best way that you can avoid similar problems is to also consider engaging reputation counseling today.