Brand Blindly Blunders Into Twitter Firestorm Inserting Their Promo Into Aurora Trend

Jennifer Jones
Jennifer Jones Partner, Anderson Jones PR

Posted on July 21st 2012

Brand Blindly Blunders Into Twitter Firestorm Inserting Their Promo Into Aurora Trend

Here is a perfect example of why you absolutely must do some basic due diligence before inserting your brand into an existing news cycle.

By now, we’ve all heard about the horrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Well, apparently, everyone heard about it except the PR representatives for an online store called CelebBoutique.

Earlier today the clothing store’s PR rep saw that “Aurora” was trending on Twitter. Instead of conducting a simple Twitter or Google search to find out why that word was trending before inserting their brand into whatever the story might be, the PR rep blundered blindly right into a well-deserved firestorm.

Because of the way the Tweet was written with phrases like “clearly about” and the “wink-smile,” many people (528 at the time of the screen grab) assumed Celeb Boutique knew what the topic was about. They angrily reTweeted and bashed the brand for a total lack of humanity and an attempt to turn the massacre of innocent people, including children, into a marketing ploy for a dress.

Now, I think we can all assume that wasn’t the case and there is no way this was deliberate. Stupid, yes. Incredibly, mind-bogglingly stupid. But, certainly not deliberate.

The boutique took down their Twitter handle shortly after receiving angry responses. And, since then, the company issued this statement:

Now, we all make mistakes, I know I do. But, this is such a powerful reminder that a small amount of research can go along way.

Before you issue that Top Ten List that ties your brand to some super cool tips, do a quick Google search to see if your competition got there first.

Before you pitch a reporter on the terrific angle that will connect your brand to a super hot topic, take a look to see if the reporter has already covered that story.

Before you spend thousands of dollars commissioning a study that shows consumers want what you’ve got, take a look around the interwebs to see if that study already exists.

And, before you hijack a trending topic on Twitter – in the name of all things good and right with the world – take two seconds to see why the topic is trending in the first place.

Jennifer Jones

Jennifer Jones

Partner, Anderson Jones PR

A global leader in public relations and social media integration, Jennifer has been at the center of digital communications since the early 90s where she helped launch some of the world's most beloved internet brands. She has been blogging about social media since 2006 and is available for consulting through Anderson Jones PR. 


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James Meyer
Posted on July 22nd 2012 at 4:03PM

You hit it right on the head.  The word "clearly" creates the tone and is what seperates this post from maybe just being an overly agressive "oops" to something more than that IMO.

Jennifer Jones
Posted on July 22nd 2012 at 8:18PM

Yeah, I think the Twitterer knew the trend wasn't about the dress and was therefore having a little fun with it through the "clearly" line. I do believe had s/he known what it was about, this wouldn't have happened - which is why you gotta do a google search at the very least. Thanks for reading, James! 

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