We all remember the debacle that BP went through this summer when an anonymous individual set up a Twitter account under the handle @BPGlobalPR and began posting satirical tweets about the company’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, posing as a BP public relations executive.
Recently, Kenneth Cole has found itself in a similar pickle. On its verified @KennethCole account, the company tweeted the following:
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at http://bit.ly/KCairo – KC”
Since protests broke out two weeks ago, Twitter users have been using the Cairo hashtag, #Cairo, to discuss the events in Egypt. Kenneth Cole has received a good deal of backlash for the tweet, including its very own parody Twitter account. @KennethColePR began tweeting on February 3, posting off-color messages such as “Our looks are dropping faster than the World Trade Center” and “Our Tuscon store is locked and loaded with Spring looks”.
So for the second time in less than a year, we’re seeing a public relations crisis spawning a parody Twitter account. In both the BP and the Kenneth Cole cases, the accounts garnered thousands of followers in a very short amount of time. Perhaps we all should learn from these instances and consider proactively securing relevant Twitter handles; maybe even names such as @brandPR.
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