Thursday, February 17, 2011
Another example of brand honesty. Sorta. So the Red Cross got *caught* being real on Twitter with an update not meant for public consumption. They subsequently followed it up with an apology and deletion of the original with extreme prejudice. Result: social Media order of the universe restored, yea! On one hand, you have to respect any brand that remains consistent in its messaging wherever it appears.
But you don’t always come here for the *other* hand.
This won’t hurt them in the long run, far from it, but the tone of the tweet highlights a paranoia found in too many brands these days, thanks to the passionate about social media crowd. What’s unfortunate though is that in following the Universal Social Media Playbook espoused by many of them, the Red Cross shows a level of fear online that brands have been goaded into adopting.
Cue damage control 101: GET OUT ON TOP OF THIS RIGHT AWAY. APOLOGIZE NOW.
I appreciate that the people behind it all have a life. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen for the notion that they can’t tell anyone about it for fear of deluting their brand’s voice. That’s absurd. The Red Cross is a brand that inherently deals with people who find themselves at the lowest point or most harrowing moments of their lives.
What could be human than that?
There’s a big difference between a brand having to get out in front and come clean regarding corporate malfeasance and a staffer having a brew. Somewhere it became taboo to veer from the script and reveal a little of what makes us normal, even human.
Brands, here’s permission to relax a little because people will actually appreciate you for it. If a brand helped find me a new place to live after a fire? I’m buying every last rescuer a case of whatever they drink and y’all can catch us celebrating on YouTube, Flickr and Facebook.
(Just as long as legal says it’s okay.)