50 Shades of Don’t Do That (Part 2).

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Part 2: How to clean up the mess you’ve made.

Hey! It’s you! Remember how last week we were talking about how the internet comes back to haunt you, well here we are, back from the dead! Just kidding, we couldn’t move on without telling you what to do if your company steps in metaphorical dog shit. Long story short if your company wants clean kicks then you have to make one of two decisions: 1) pivot from the original statement, or 2) dig in (and please wear gloves).

1. The Pivot

Ignore the haters who scream “spin doctor”, pivoting is a completely valid course of action. The thing to take into consideration is whether or not the original faux pas is fundamental to your brand’s identity. If it was an errant statement made onstage, a document released by a disgruntled employee or simply an action with unintentional consequences, your best choice is to pivot. Explain the wrongdoing, apologize and tell people how you’re going to avoid mistakes in the future. What you have to understand is that in our current virtual climate people want to yell “no take backsies” every time they get upset. In reality, if you apologize and you’re authentic the public is more than willing to forgive and forget. (Besides Twitter basically has the memory of a gold fish.)

2. Dig In

Let’s say, however, that your social blunder was due to something that ties into your brand’s core values. Do not pivot. I repeat, Do. Not. Pivot. When you’ve done something that angers people but is core to your brand’s identity, trying to take it back will result in you angering everyone. This is the time where you stand your ground. Tell the public why this matters to your company and tell them that you aren’t going to change. Two things will happen. There will be an outcry from the masses; some of whom may stop coming to your business. And, your most loyal customers will praise your resolve and will vow to do business with you above your competitors. This is that instance where you accept that not everyone will like you — and that’s a-OK.