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How are Brands Still Failing at PR After SO Many Examples?!

Tara Hunt

Originally published by Tara Hunt on LinkedIn: How are Brands Still Failing at PR After SO Many Examples?!

After several weeks of terrible brand behaviour followed by even more terrible PR responses, I felt like I HAD to make a video (even if it's off schedule). This has been going on for such a long time and instead of getting better, it seems to be getting even worse.

Here is how the scenario keeps playing itself out...over and over again:

STEP 1. brand makes really tone-deaf decision (that couldn't possibly fly in the social era)

STEP 2. public goes wild because, well, they have all been burnt by brand over the years and this seems like a great opportunity to let them have it once and for all.

STEP 3. brand responds in an even more tone-deaf message-spun pr way that makes their actions even MORE offensive 

STEP 4. public goes for the jugular...has a heyday

STEP 5. brand finally responds semi-decently, but it's way too late and nobody cares.

SO many mistakes made, beginning from far BEFORE the issue even took place. Notice how the public is ready with the pitchforks? That's because they already don't like the brand and enjoy participating in it's demise. A brand that listens, communicates, and treats their customers well (both the business class AND cattle class) will get the benefit of the doubt.

But what really baffles me is how this just keeps happening over and over like we're living in a screwed up version of Groundhog Day. In this video, I recall a story that sounds and feels SO familiar...FROM 8 YEARS AGO...where the exact same scenario took place.


Truly Social is a web series that you can share with your boss or client when they're not really "getting" social. It's also the name of my company - where we work with clients on helping them develop their own content series.

I've been working on this social stuff for over 18 years and I've been a participant in the social web since 1992. My videos (usually) come out every SUNDAY (this one is a little early!)...with ~5 minute "lessons" on what are truly social practices (and what are NOT).