Taming the Social Media Beast in the Midst of a Crisis

By now everyone in PR knows a crisis can be just 140 characters away. They also know social media requires the same thing as a successful face-to-face conversation: listening, and earnest interaction. Among the latest to learn this lesson: the customer service executives at United Airlines. There, the PR team caught wind of a customer service issue gone wrong (in the form of a musician’s guitar being broken at the hands of baggage handlers) long after it had developed into an unpleasant online event, complete with musical accompaniment. Consumers have found the Internet to be a more effective venue for resolving customer service issues than customer service departments themselves.

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