Twitter, Pizza, and $2 Million Libel: Real-Life Crisis Communications

Posted on October 5, 2009


The $2m Pizza With Extra Lible

The $2M Pizza With Extra Lible

A Mock Crisis Communications Strategy Planning Session

Twitter chat on Wednesday, October 7th at noon Eastern/ 9:00am Pacific time. The hashtag is #SM4B (Social Media for Business). See details below.

Mark Schaefer‘s blog [grow] has a great post today about how a local business disagreement between beloved Knoxville pizza restaurant and an established marketing firm turned into social media fodder. (Reed it here)

Bad blood was already running deep between The Pizza Kitchen and the marketing firm Low & Tritt. They had separated on a sour note when the client was dissatisfied with the results of their activities. However, things were about to get worse when they had a disagreement about fees and licensing rights.

Travis Redmon, from The Pizza Kitchen, decided to share his frustration about the dispute with the restaurant’s 247 followers and like number of Facebook friends. He chose to display his displeasure with Low & Tritt by using the word “Crook” and saying that they had stolen his mailing list.

Low & Tritt lodged a $2 million libel lawsuit to show THEIR displeasure.

All these actions ensured that the original comments, initially seen by a few hundred people, were now seen by tens of thousands on Twitter and news websites.

A Mock Crisis Communications Strategy Planning Session.

Mark and I will hold a Twitter chat on Wednesday, October 7th at noon Eastern/ 9:00am Pacific time.

The hashtag is #SM4B (Social Media for Business).

The Scenario: “The Pasta Depot” called “Big Pink Branding” liars and thieves on its blog and Twitter account.

Big Pink Branding, concerned with damage to its stellar reputation, filed suit. However, the lawsuit has been picked up by social media, and local and national press.

They now realize that as an unintended consequence of the lawsuit they risk potential irreversible damage to the firm’s long-term reputation, a reputation that they have spent years nurturing, and potential future loss of business.

They have come to you and asked: What should we do to minimize the damage to our reputation? How do we grow past this?

You are invited to add your insights. Join us on Wednesday for #SM4B

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