Growth5 Blog

Friday, March 4, 2011

Accidental Tweet Drives Blood, Markets Beer

Gloria Huang accidentally sent a Tweet from her employer's Twitter account, the Red Cross, instead of her own personal Twitter account. It read:
"Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head's Midas Touch beer.... when we drink we do it right #gettngslizzerd."
How did the Red Cross respond to being seen as telling the world that when they drink they do it right?

Did they go into full damage control mode with emergency meetings, press releases, a news conference, firings, new systems to prevent such horrendous mistakes in the future, a scholarship fund co-sponsored by several anti-alcohol organizations, stories in magazines with public apologies from the entire sr. management team? Nope, none of the above, because apparently they are not an overreacting 'scared of their own shadow' organization. They simply tweeted:
"We've deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we've confiscated the keys."
Perfect. They stopped the story in its tracks and generated some goodwill at the same time:
"And that's where the story took a twist. Impressed by the Red Cross' calm and humane response, other tweeters -- especially @dogfishbeer's fans -- launched a fundraising and blood donation drive. Its hashtag: #gettngslizzerd...

...That community turned the Red Cross mistweet into a rallying cause. Breweries and pubs in many of the 30 states that distribute Dogfish beer launched beer-for-blood offers. A typical one, from the Flying Saucer bar in Austin: "Show us you donated a pint @redcross today & we'll buy you a pint of @dogfishbeer #gettngslizzerd."
The Red Cross is pleased with the way the story turned out:
"While we're a 130 year old humanitarian organization, we're also made of up human beings," the agency wrote in a blog post. "Thanks for not only getting that but for turning our faux pas into something good."
I suspect the Dogfish beer folks are pleased with all of the free marketing they received, even if it was their beer that caused the mistake in the first place (just a guess).

Greg, thanks for sending this story my way.

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