Friday, March 11, 2011
So in response to the Chrysler Tweet from hell where one of their agency partners knocked the city of Detroit for its drivers, the same tired argument gets thrown out about who *owns* social media. (The brand, its PR agency, a stand-alone digi-social shop, etc.)
It should be: what’s the tone of voice we want regardless of who owns it. I’ve seen equal cluelessness across the spectrum when it comes to community management, with all players doing both a great and not so great job at it. Nobody deserves ownership because nobody consistently gets it right. Each case truly is different, and it starts with the voice of who you are as a brand. Watch the Steve Jobs clip on branding and knowing who you are if you need a case in point.
In this case, Chrysler had a harder decision, because it wasn’t as cut and dried as they made it out to be with the prompt firing of the agency responsible. I don’t care how many *safeguards* you have in place, all this showed was that regardless of ownership, immaturity still gets the best of any agency in something like this. (Case in point, Mr. FedEx.)
On one hand, as a brand you need to demonstrate that you’re on top of things by deleting comments like that, especially so soon after a campaign you ran speaks to the heart of the very city you insulted.
But on the other, the campaign did speak to Detorit being like no other, in effect calling out lesser, *wimpy* cities. How refreshing if Chrysler had said gone the other way here and played off the tone of the tweet, maybe saying something like “See, Detroit’s a hard city, that’s why we love it.”
So save your kudos, all you *passionate* about social media, because Chrysler was cautious, not courageous. And that’s too bad, really.