Compare and contrast

Jan 26, 2012 22:49 · 181 words · 1 minute read

Yesterday, LA Fitness were on the receiving end of a concerted Twitter kicking as they acted like bean-counting idiots when dealing with a jobless, soon-to-be-homeless, heavily-pregnant and previously-loyal customer. Rightly so.

A bit of sense and compassion at the outset would have been a lot less expensive than the hit to their brand equity that resulted. And it all ended with a heavily-lawyered press release which reads like fingernails down a blackboard in its grudging repentance.

Today, Tom Watson’s intern has her Clare Swire moment when she posts an ill-advised tweet from his unattended laptop. That goes viral. Tom Watson responds with a post that summarises as “Yes, she was an idiot. We’ve all been idiots. She won’t do that again. Nothing else to see here. Move along.”

One was the end result of faceless cack-handed PR fuckwittery. The other was grown-ups behaving like grown-ups.

I still can’t quite figure out why supposedly professional public relations people automatically fall into faceless press release mode. Don’t they ever read their own words back themselves and think “do we really sound like that?