Crafting Your ‘Crappy’ Corporate Response

No, we’re not trying to be facetious here. This truly is a post about some poop.

A few days ago in an attempt to be a bit humorous, and to evoke a bit of a response (or at least a giggle) from people, Clayton Hove (@adtothebone) put out this amusing little tweet:Now, Smart could have simply said nothing and let this tweet get lost in the digital ether. Instead, the company chose to respond.

In the hands of the wrong people this could have turned into a PR nightmare. A bad corporate response to a simple innocuous tweet can blow the original issue so incredibly out of proportion that any company could find itself in a much deeper public perception hole. Fortunately, the people at Smart handling their Social Media (and Razorfish, their agency) crafted a response that was dare we say … very Smart:…then they punctuated things by using this accompanying infographic:

This instance showed all the right things about crafting an intelligent corporate response to an unexpected situation.

Smart proved that sometimes the best way to deal with something unexpected is with some good information and a little self-deprecating humor. Instead of responding like a faceless corporation, they behaved like the human beings who make up the company.

So what does this say when it comes to crafting a good corporate response?

1. Keep your cool and let smarter heads prevail — brash thinking is bound to get you in trouble.

2. Be well-informed in your response — bad or wrong information will definitely come back to haunt you.

3. Be creative — blandness is the enemy in almost any response, and in the digital age it takes more than a press release to make an impact.

4. Let some personality shine through — nothing gets people on your side more than acting like the human you are.

Even though the original tweet wasn’t anything that was going to cause trouble, how Smart handled it could have turned it into a huge controversy. But thanks to some smart thinking on Smart’s part, it turned into a great bit of positive publicity.

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