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posted by janrinok on Monday March 30 2015, @05:43PM   Printer-friendly
from the Pete-Seeger-singing-"when-will-they-ever-learn?-when-will-they-ever-learn?" dept.

Alison Griswold writes that in an effort to improve its tanking image, SeaWorld launched a new advertising campaign this week to educate the public about its “leadership in the care of killer whales” and other work to protect whales in captivity and in the wild. As part of that head-on initiative, someone at SeaWorld decided to invite Twitter users to pose their questions to the company directly using the hashtag #AskSeaWorld. That was not a good idea as twitter users bashed Sea World relentlessly. "As easy as it is to make fun of SeaWorld here, the real question is why any company still thinks hosting an open Twitter forum could be good for public relations," writes Griswold. "So maybe SeaWorld’s social and PR folks just really have no idea what they’re doing. Even so, you’d think they’d have learned from the corporate failures before them."

Let’s review some of the times this has backfired, starting with the infamous McDonald’s #McDStories Twitter campaign of January 2012. Rather than prompting customers to share their heart-warming McDonald’s anecdotes, the hashtag gave critics a highly visible forum to share their top McDonald’s horror stories. MacDonalds pulled the campaign within two hours but they discovered that crowd-sourced campaigns are hard to control. Three years later the #McDStories hashtag is still gathering comments. "Twitter Q&As are a terrible idea.," concludes Griswold. "A well-meaning hashtag gives critics an easy way to assemble and voice their complaints in a public forum. Why companies still try them is a great mystery. Maybe they’ll all finally learn from SeaWorld and give this one horrible PR trick up for good."

 
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30 2015, @06:36PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30 2015, @06:36PM (#164413)

    I have seen this more and more. People are using twitter to bitch about something. They usually end it with a hashtag of whatever they are mad at.

    If you have even a *hint* that your customers are usually mad. Do not give them control of your brand. They will go to town on it because you basically did not give them satisfaction before.

    I like this quote from the movie hoffa "A real grievance can be resolved; differences can be resolved. But an imaginary hurt, a slight - that motherfucker gonna hate you 'til the day he dies. " It is so true. These ex customers are *waiting* to give what you gave them...

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by snick on Monday March 30 2015, @07:19PM

    by snick (1408) on Monday March 30 2015, @07:19PM (#164433)

    A real grievance can be resolved; differences can be resolved. But an imaginary hurt, a slight - that motherfucker gonna hate you 'til the day he dies.

    ... posted on the slashdot splinter site.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30 2015, @07:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30 2015, @07:46PM (#164446)

      posted on the slashdot splinter site.
      SD did not listen to their customers ... us. They listened to their management and saw their viewership implode. So they backtracked but still think they can make it work.

      What is left on that site is decidedly angry about everything. They went about and drove off about 2-3k in viewers. People who probably posted quite regularly. It shows. The comments on SD are worse for it. The remaining group is not very welcoming and quick to jump over any petty thing that is slightly wrong. Their viewership will slowly dwindle. The only stories gaining any traction will be 'hot button' items where people can show off how much better they are than that other group. Not a very healthy way to run a business...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30 2015, @09:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30 2015, @09:04PM (#164479)

        > What is left on that site is decidedly angry about everything.

        Not even close. That site still gets 10x the comment volume as SN does and its hardly "angry about everything." The fact that you think it is says more about you than it does about SD. Confirmation bias FTL.

        • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday March 30 2015, @10:11PM

          by hemocyanin (186) on Monday March 30 2015, @10:11PM (#164526) Journal

          I read both daily and participate in both still. There is something about Slashdot that seems so much blander than it used to be, much less radical, and as a result, more boring. It's as if Slashdot has shifted into a rather complacent frame of mind with respect to corporate/government power -- there's still radicals (like me maybe) but increasingly, the radicals are being averaged out to background noise. Maybe it's a rise in astroturfers, or maybe it's just a changing demographic for slashdot users, but it is definitely much blander.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @12:03AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @12:03AM (#164563)

            Just to make myself feel good I'm going mention that your observation of blandness is almost the opposite of that other AC's observation of being angry about everything. There are other opposites to blandness besides anger, I'm just saying it in the other direction, that blandness is an opposite of anger.

            • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 31 2015, @12:21AM

              by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday March 31 2015, @12:21AM (#164569) Journal

              The old "hate isn't the opposite of love, indifference is" type deal I take it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @02:06AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @02:06AM (#164601)

            "Maybe it's a rise in astroturfers, or maybe it's just a changing demographic for slashdot users, but it is definitely much blander."

            IMO it flat out sucks, corportate sock puppet accounts, people who continue to bash Linux and RMS but probably don't understand either. Do you think /. will ever host an .onion site?

            SN has made the bold move in the /. exodus and this includes hosting .onion hidden services. Search engines should learn from DDG's .onion site but most cling to how the web once was.

            Times have changed - sites like /. have to compete with Reddit, Ycombinator/hacker news, Schneier's blog with highly technical anonymous blog posts from the readers, large message forums, etc.

            Do you know what /. "feels" like to me? An empty house with a lot of rats coming in and sharing cheese and disease. We should all welcome SN with open arms.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @12:29AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @12:29AM (#164572)

          I don't know about you, but once I see comments about "geeks" ostracizing another subculture of "geeks", then something has horribly gone wrong.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @02:25AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31 2015, @02:25AM (#164605)

            "I don't know about you, but once I see comments about "geeks" ostracizing another subculture of "geeks", then something has horribly gone wrong."

            people w/ too much time on their hands acting cerebral.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday March 30 2015, @10:01PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday March 30 2015, @10:01PM (#164517) Journal

      Beta was no a slight, it was a real grievance and it got resolved by splintering.