PR crisis

Bic for Her: a different kind of social media firestorm

It’s a surprise to very few brands that when you spill a bunch of oil, treat your customers like crap or put your foot in your mouth, there’s a decent chance the social mediasphere is going to react.

Social media firestorms are a headache for brands and a boon for PR firms and agencies well-versed in responding to crisis. And with use of social media platforms only growing, they’re not likely to go away any time soon.

But not all social media firestorms are the same.

Three lessons from the TSA’s failed crisis response

The nude body scanners placed at American airports may or may not be completely useless, but the way the Transport Security Administration (TSA) has responded to one critic’s YouTube video (which has gone viral) is a case study in how not to deal with a social media crisis.

The TSA had little choice but to respond to the claims made by Jonathan Corbett, a vocal critic of the TSA and its nude body scanners.

In his video, which has racked up over 750,000 views in just a matter of days, Corbett explains how a simple technique can be used to defeat the scanners, and he successfully demonstrates the technique at an airport.

AirBnB: PR crisis, or business model failure?

The blogosphere has been abuzz with the news that an individual renting her apartment through AirBnB was the victim of a heinous property crime.

The strong reaction to the incident isn’t just a result of the nature of the damage that was done to someone’s apartment, it was a result of the fact that AirBnB is one of the hottest internet startups at the moment. In fact, it’s so popular that some startups have opted to describe themselves as “the AirBnB of x.