How KitchenAid Minimized Its Twitter Damage

Todd Wasserman
Gap Criticized For Insensitive Tweet During Hurricane Sandy
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Ashley Payne, Teacher

An errant tweet by KitchenAid resulted in a short-term pr disaster, but the brand minimized the damage with a quick apology, according to one researcher.

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Simply Measured looked at @KitchenAidUSA interactions on Twitter at around 6:42 p.m. PST, the time of the tweet, and then eight minutes later when the brand issued its apology:

As the chart below shows, activity spiked about an hour later, by which time the brand's apology was already part of the message. After that, there was a sharp drop in activity. In total, there were 15,146 mentions for @KitchenAidUSA on Wednesday and only 6,787 by 3 p.m. PST on Thursday.

The damage control appears to have worked. "They were fast," says Adam Schoenfeld, CEO of SimplyMeasured. "That's impressive. They were quite quick."

KitchenAid is one of several brands that have caused an uproar with offensive tweets. For example, Kenneth Cole's #Cairo tweet during the Arab Spring appeared to make light of the situation. One month later, Chrysler dropped the F-bomb on its Twitter. In Cole's case, the brand apologized for the tweet about an hour later.

But Chrysler's apology took a little longer.

In a more recent example, Microsoft tweeted a message critical of right-wing pundit Ann Coulter. As with the KitchenAid incident, Microsoft's tweet appeared to be a case in which an employee mistakenly sent a personal message from a corporate account.

Ashley Payne, Teacher

Ashley Payne, a teacher in Barrow County, Georgia, was asked to resign from her job at Apalachee High School in August 2009 because of photographs and status updates she posted to Facebook.

The problem with Payne's updates? They showed her drinking alcohol and one update used an expletive. Payne was on vacation in Europe and some of her photographs included her visits to the Guinness Brewery and a local pub in Dublin.

Payne's Facebook page was private, however she had friended some other teachers in her school. When the principal found out about the photos, she was told to render her resignation or face suspension.

Payne sued the school district in November 2009 because she was "not made aware of her rights."

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Photo courtesy of Flickr, anaulin.

This story originally published on Mashable here.