Another PR “Specialist” Bites The Dust
Last week the one man (Jim Redner) PR Firm, The Redner Group (“group” that’s funny), got himself fired by client 2k Games after he sent off a rash statement via Twitter involving their Duke Nukem Brand.
“I was working late and received an e-mail from my former client, 2K, asking if I had seen one particularly negative review of Duke Nukem. I would like to stress that the e-mail from 2K only pointed out the diatribe. The e-mail did not contain covert instructions on how to post something insidious on Twitter… I overreacted when I read the review and I vented on Twitter. It was an act of passion on my part that lacked objectivity. In my opinion, someone had gone over the top to attack the game and those who spent their lives trying to make it. Ultimately, I committed a cardinal sin in marketing.” – Jim Redner
The one positive is that Redner admits to his mistake, but he clearly still has lots to learn. If you are engaging online with your customers, you will find out not all of them are happy. If you get a poor review or someone bashes your product, you can only become defensive if they are lying or promoting slander. If this happens, you must contact those posting these messages, instead of trying to unleash your frustration via Twitter. Find out the problem behind the post before firing back. Jim allowed himself to become emotional over an online message or review, which lead him to lash out.
Influencers are the essential key to growing your business’ reach online. Companies should want their feedback and advice. If it is hateful or mean spirited, then try dissolving the situation peacefully (proactive, not reactive). There are plenty of people on the web who just complain and bash products daily, but those people have poor reputations and are not key influencers. If the person that set Jim off was an influencer, but the malcontent was noticeable within his message, the author in turn would lose credibility and followers.
One major lesson to learn from all of this is to not use any tool online without fully understanding it. Like Rep. Weiner, Jim Redner misused Twitter and the Twitternation made him pay for it. New age PR and Marketing messages bring brands and customers closer than ever, but we continue to see similar mistakes like the Chrysler and Redner Group examples. Transparency is great, unless you use it poorly.