Just last week, Ekaterina Walter, a social media strategist at Intel, wrote a post about the two-way nature of social media that, in light of the #McDStories Twitter hashtag-gone-wrong, seems to be downright prescient:
With the growth of social media and all the two-way channels of communication open to organizations, brand identity is potentially stronger but more at-risk than ever. Losing control of your brand’s ‘voice’ can be hugely damaging.
And Frank Eliason, SVP of Social for Citi, wrote this just about one month ago:
The first thing to recognize is that the brand image is owned by others and not the PR department or marketing. Both of these departments are important but they are no longer in the driver’s seat for brand image. I wonder if they ever were? Again, probably a post for another day. I am not sure things have changed in this regard but perception has. The masses, whomever they may be, control it.
But neither the timely nature of these posts, nor the lemming-like reposting of the Twitterati have acknowledged what, to me, is obvious about this PR “crisis”; the whole thing is absolutely hilarious!
Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr/Mrs “McDonald’s Twitter Hashtag Promotion, Goes Horribly Wrong” re-tweeter. Do you really think it’s news that McDonalds isn’t actually good for you? Do you really think the McDonald’s execs are in Def-Con 1 now that the “quality” [cough] of their menu has been publicly called into question? Do you really think a hashtag-hijack qualifies as a “gone horribly wrong” type of incident?
Here’s some perspective: San Ysidro is “gone horribly wrong.”
“The McRib contains the same chemical used to make yoga mats” is just funny.
So lighten up, Twitterverse, and enjoy the humor. I know it’s shocking, but not everybody is on Twitter, and not everybody that is on Twitter knows about #McDStories, and not everybody that knows, cares.
Based on the number of cars in line with me at McDonald’s drive-thru this morning I’m guessing my fellow patrons either (a) didn’t get the #McMemo, or (b) just don’t care.