A Lesson on Social Media Damage Control by Kenneth Cole

Oh dear. So, earlier today I was alerted to a tweet posted by the clothing design clothing company, Kenneth Cole.

KC Tweet

I shouldn’t NEED to explain why this was in poor taste today, less than 24 hours after peaceful protests turned violent. But I just did.

Given the amount of outrage this tweet caused, Kenneth Cole took responsibility for the mistweet in an apology on Twitter and then on the company’s Facebook page.

His damage control was swift:

  1. He apologized personally and took responsibility. Though his initial tweet says “we weren’t intending to make light,” he later clarified in a further tweet that his “joke” didn’t come from an employee at Kenneth Cole, but from him personally.

  2. His team isn’t countering the negative comments with excuses on why it happened.

Yes, this tweet was in poor taste and some comments even accuse the company of posting something controversial for free publicity (forgetting, of course, this is a fashion company), but there but for the grace of God go I, people. Here are some lessons we can all take away from this:

–  Once you post something online, it never goes away. @kennethcole deleted the original tweet, but I found it easily.

– If you schedule your tweets, it’s probably best to not schedule upcoming posts beyond 24 hours, particularly if your tweet is related to current events.

– If you’ve made an error, take a short break to catch your breath. Then, calmly take responsibility, admit the error, apologize and move on. If you’re the CEO, go on social media yourself, even if the blame lies with an employee.

– You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last company or person to embarrass yourself on social media. I’ve accidentally tweeted DMs, celebrities fight it out with each other on Twitter , and there’s always Kanye to the rescue.

Any other rules for social media to share? Comment!