This week, Sarah Santucci joined me in c0-hosting the Roundtable–we discussed Lowe’s PR mess regarding its withdrawal of advertising from the TLC show “All American Muslim” from both a general PR perspective and from a social media vantage point; the pros and cons of Twitter brand pages; Facebook and Google’s efforts to refer suicidal people to help lines, and the new Facebook Timeline roll out.
This week’s show is 30 minutes long.
- First, we spent quite a bit of time discussing Lowe’s recent string of PR gaffes. Sarah points out that the home improvement store made not one, but two major PR blunders–first by capitulating to the Florida Family Association’s demands to pull its advertising from the show “All American Muslim,” and then by leaving horrible, vitriolic comments up on the apology it posted to its Facebook page. The first blunder was bad enough, but was then compounded by a gross misinterpretation of what social media standards are, in that they elected not to moderate their Facebook page and allowed comments to stand that should have been deleted, all in the name of “social media transparency.” I note that usually on this show we are discussing companies that go too far in the other direction, who delete any negative comments. There’s a middle ground Lowe’s–and it’s in moderating comments. True to form, the wit of the GlobalPR group has jumped in the fray with the parody Lowe’s Global PR Twitter account. We also briefly discuss the difference between the Kayak decision and response to the Lowe’s backlash.
- Next, we discuss Twitter’s new brand pages. Sarah and I both agree that most of the people we know don’t use Twitter through the web interface–they use Twitter clients such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck, or a mobile version on a smartphone–and, both posts we discussed during the show mention this. While Brian Meeks is more acerbic about the utility of brand pages, and Shelly Kramer’s post is more positive, both acknowledge that the method people use to access Twitter might hinder the success of brand pages. That said, there are some very cool features, and the ability to “pin” a Tweet at the top of a stream and keep it there is one that could prove very useful for brands.
- Finally, we talk about Facebook and Google’s efforts to do something to help people who indicate that they are suicidal in social media posts, and search for topics related to suicide. Sarah notes that there is a potential for false accusations to be made, particularly on Facebook as it is a reporting system. But, any effort to help people out is a step in the right direction. We also touch on the roll out of Facebook’s Timeline feature (which neither of us has yet), and Sarah notes that of all the Facebook changes, this one seems as though there’s the lowest amount of negative response…so far.