Like almost anything involving a computer, you really have to be careful to check what you're doingand to whom you're sending itbefore you hit send. (How many of us have hit "Reply to All" on email that should have just been a reply to one person, or worse, hit "Reply" to an email you meant to forward to someone else, snide comments included? Just me?)
Last night, appliance giant KitchenAid learned this lesson the hard way. During the presidential debate, the following tweet appeared:
(President Obama's grandmother died the night before Election Day 2008.)
As you might imagine, the company hastily deleted the tweet, but the damage was done. Many quickly retweeted the comment, while others replied with scathing remarks.
KitchenAid, owned by Whirlpool Corp., immediately went into spin control by offering apologies on Twitter and other social networks. From its Facebook page:
"Hello, everyone. My name is Cynthia Soledad, and I am the head of the KitchenAid brand. I would like to personally apologize to President Barack Obama, his family and everyone on Twitter for the offensive tweet sent earlier. It was carelessly sent in error by a member of our Twitter team who, needless to say, won't be tweeting for us anymore. That said, I take full responsibility for my team. Thank you for hearing me out."
Some accepted the response, while others said the company had lost their loyalty. I think that's pretty excessive, because I don't believe this was the position of the company (and even if it was, I don't imagine they'd express it so inarticulately).
Sometimes social media is a little too social...