In what can only be described as action without foresight, last night, DiGiorno Pizza tweeted out an endorsement for its frozen cheese and tomato leveraging the hashtag #WhyIStayed – a hashtag created to spark conversation around domestic violence stemming from the recent release of the Ray Rice tape.
I think you should let that sink in for a moment – a frozen food company used a hashtag designed to promote discourse on domestic violence awareness. To promote pizza. While taken down seconds after realizing the mistake (DiGiorno’s community manager saw the hashtag trending without realizing the connection) the incident has already produced dozens of articles.
Look, I get it – today, where anyone with anything to sell is trying to capitalize on whatever social media trend they can to stay relevant, it means you need to move fast – before the hashtag isn’t trending or the news drops off the radar. But that’s where PR and marketing strategy needs to be at the forefront. Not everyone is going to have the same success as Oreo did when trying to quickly react to breaking news or trends. Today’s community managers need to be trained and thinking strategically about their social programs and taking the time to make sure they get it right:
- Know your goals and who you’re trying to reach, if not, your brand will sound completely tone deaf – or worse
- Have a plan in place when jumping on the hashtag/breaking news band wagon to make sure the proper research and analysis is done before pushing “send”
- And for goodness sakes, take a beat, have someone gut check that what you’re about to push out to your Xth number of followers is a good message. Or else you’ll end up with responses like these.