As my organization’s director of content, I’m always on the alert when I read or hear about issues that relate to content, content strategy, content creation and content management. I recently heard an interesting story regarding the lack of oversight in online content.
The story that made it on to my content radar concerned a local article about Medicare–with the word Medicaid in the headline. The two are very different government programs with very different meanings. There was an immediate backlash of online criticism and phone calls to the newsroom. The good news here is this: someone noticed.
All too often, in the world of online interaction and social media mania — mistakes, basic spelling errors, punctuation lapses and social blunders are not only tolerated but are accepted as the norm.
So, while it’s nice to know people do pay attention, it’s also cause for you to be sure the people you trust to tweet, post on Facebook, pin on Pinterest and publish on your website are qualified to do so. With that in mind, here are some major brands’ online “fails” you might want to think about before you hand over your social and online content management to your cousin’s friend’s college roommate!
When Netflix users tried to follow the @Qwikster link on Twitter, they were directed to someone who talked about drugs and cursed a lot. Even though he wasn’t associated with Netflix, a bad name and poor judgment became associated with the Netflix brand as a result. It’s a good idea to investigate your links before you publish them!
Here’s a good example of a Facebook campaign that probably did NOT go through the CEO: Burger King created a Facebook challenge called the “Whopper Sacrifice” that asked users to de-friend 10 people from their own Facebook account in order to get a coupon for a free Whopper. Facebook shut it down and Burger King suffered some major egg-in-the-face.
This is my favorite mistake and showed a complete lack of judgment — by an ad agency executive who should have known better! Public relations/marketing agency Ketchum was meeting in Memphis, Tennessee with its client FedEx. Just before the meeting one of Ketchum’s vice presidents tweeted that he’d rather die than live in Memphis!
This goes to show that even those of us in the communicating and content creation business can fail at managing our own content. Here’s a tip: tell employees who create content associated with your business to imagine that every tweet or post will be displayed in a PowerPoint presentation at your next annual meeting or pay review!