Is Twitter turning into a brand PR no go area?


It has not been a great couple of weeks for brands on Twitter.

McDonald’s in particular seems to have come in for a bashing. Last week’s golden arch themed outrage was over an article by Alex James in The Sun where he suggested the fast food chain was ‘in some ways, like a Michelin starred restaurant’ (the comparison wasn’t actually inaccurate, by the way). Now the McDonald’s vitriol has latched onto a hashtag -  #McDStories - which the company used on their official Twitter account. Now reported as a Twitter campaign backfiring (I’m not sure I would call it a ‘campaign’, it was a couple of tweets asking for stories) by UK and US national media, what it consisted of was Twitter users posting negative stories about McDonalds using the hashtag they themselves had started.

The odd thing I find about media reporting on a story like this is it is almost self-fulfilling prophecy, what starts as a few predictable negative tweets generally only reaches critical mass after an article or blog post stokes the flames. The reporting of a ‘social media crisis’ is often what creates the crisis.

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