Cold Stone Takes to Twitter to Address Complaints Over Slur

This tweet was one of several others by Cold Stone Creamery
that directly addressed complaints about a Facebook post by
one of its employees. 

Cold Stone Creamery quickly distanced itself from an employee who posted controversial comments on Facebook about President Obama, addressing local media and taking to Twitter to handle the situation in front of a wider audience. 

After 22-year-old Denise Helms posted on her Facebook page, "And another 4 years of the ____. Maybe he will get assassinated this term..!!",  shortly after the president's reelection on Tuesday, Nov. 6, the post quickly made the rounds on social media. This prompted Sacramento TV station Fox 40 to interview her about her comments Wednesday night. By Thursday morning, her boss at Cold Stone Creamery had received 20 angry voice mails about Helms, reports The Modesto Bee

"We made the decision because of her comments, but also the community feedback," Turlock, Calif., Cold Stone Creamery store director Chris Kegle told the Bee. "We are very into working with the community and doing community service. So when your community does not like you because of an employee, that's bad. We have a business to run."

That's how the store handled the local market response, but it also went one step further and used Twitter to discuss the situation in front of a wider audience. @Coldstone: "@sparklyestrella Gicenia, we're as saddened & shocked as you by her comments It does not reflect our views & she's no longer w/the company," Cold Stone Creamery wrote on its Twitter feed on Nov. 8.

The tweets from the account stayed on message—11 tweets were all similarly worded as above—but were directly addressed to the Twitter users who were complaining. They didn't just respond to the tweets from users with the large followings, either, as they responded to some users with just 10 followers (the @coldstone account has over 14,000 followers). Though some complained on Twitter about Cold Stone Creamery denying the employee of freedom of speech, many appreciated the company's tweets—@Kinlee: "@Coldstone Thank you for speaking up & taking swift action against Ms. Helms disgraceful comment."  

For a situation that may have once been handled via an official statement, Cold Stone Creamery smartly went directly to its audience. 

Follow BIll Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg