Insights / public-relations

Kenneth Cole, You Big Dummy

Let this be a lesson to anyone and everyone in social media. We’ll call this lesson “How Not To Use Twitter.”

In our world of marketing, advertising and PR we often look for clever ways to attach a brand to a movement, holiday, event and so on. Preferably, something positive. From my own personal experience, we drummed up a media opportunity for a client. The pitch? Bruegger’s offers snow plow drivers, police, firemen and other public safety personnel free coffee during a major snowstorm. A small token to thank them, keep them energized and earn some media coverage from a topical, timely event. In short, it was a nice thing to do and the client was happy with the TV coverage. It also fit with the Bruegger’s brand and philosophy of being a part of the neighborhoods in which they operate. Anyhow… on to Kenneth Cole’s Twitter-fiasco.

What’s not smart in our world (or anyone’s) is exploitation. I suppose Kenneth Cole thought it would be a clever way to garner some media coverage and talk in the social world when he tweeted about the arrival of the Kenneth Cole spring collection and tied it to the movement in Egypt. His tweet? It read: ”Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online… -KC.”

Faster than a wildfire, word quickly spread across the Internet. Then came the media storm. The tweet was removed and an apology was issued, but in an era where news travels so fast, you have to question the judgement here. Not only did he violate Twitter’s etiquee by using the #Cairo hashtag on the tasteless tweet, the tweet backfired.

Check out the CNN story here and share your thoughts. Good or bad?