September 29, 2022

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Radio Roundtable: FTD wilts under V-Day scrutiny, and Carnival misses the social boat

Radio Roundtable: FTD wilts under V-Day scrutiny, and Carnival misses the social boat

This week, I was joined by co-host Sarah Santucci to discuss FTD’s Facebook page on Valentine’s Day, Carnival Cruise Line’s decision to take a hiatus from social at the peak of a crisis, and we also discussed a post on Voce Communications blog that discusses some best practices for social business (although we admittedly get sidetracked by Pinterest).


This week’s program is 28 minutes long.

  • First, Sarah and I talk about the sad state of FTD’s Facebook page on Valentine’s Day. The page was overrun by negative comments and disappointed customers–not exactly ideal content for the brand’s main wall. To their credit they didn’t spend their time deleting negative comments like some brands have done. We talk about ways that FTD could have at least blunted the impact; either by creating a delivery dilemma page on the wall, or something similar to channel customer queries in a–let’s admit it–less brutal fashion. On really busy days like Valentine’s Day, a brand like FTD is going to get hit and hit hard, so have a plan. The delivery issues are one thing, but the Consumerist’s “Garden of Discontent” that shows disappointing images are another thing. Social media certainly has changed business.
  • Next, we talk about the baffling decision by Carnival Cruise Lines to suspend social media activity in the wake of the Costa Concordia disaster. This just seems utterly bizarre to someone with a communications background–why would you close down a channel during a crisis? It depends on how you view the account–which, in Carnival’s case appears to be a marketing/advertising channel. But as Sarah points out, you can change the tone of your content without shutting off the channel, which probably would have been a better idea.
  • Finally, we discuss a post on Voce’s blog about best practices for streamlining corporate social accounts. Sarah points out that this is a really good post for businesses of any size to read, and contains some really good advice. We get sidetracked talking about Pinterest, as I note that not every business needs to be on every channel, and as we continue to see the number of channels grow peoples’ attention will become more fractured. I point out that teens have started to flock to Twitter because they can use fake names and protect their accounts (presumably from their parents) and even MySpace is seeing its numbers creep back up (I did not expect to type that sentence. Never say never!)
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About The Author

Jennifer Zingsheim Phillips is the Director of Marketing Communications for CARMA. She is also the founder of 4L Strategies, and has worked in communications and public affairs for more than 20 years. Her background includes work in politics, government, lobbying, public affairs PR, content creation, and digital and social communications and media analysis.

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