Archive for the ‘Social Media’ Category

Woman Banned from Posting About Family on Facebook

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

A New Jersey woman has made news recently for her questionable Facebook and blog posts about her husband and children. In late 2011, the woman was diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a state psychiatrist after she had lost custody of her children, kidnapping them and attempting to cross them over the Canadian border.Log in screen of

This woman, identified as H.L.M. for the safety of her children and family, posted on Facebook and on her blog about her family referencing Jeffrey Dahmer, the Book of Revelations, Satan and Hitler. These posts were said to be “rambling, irrational, disturbing and bizarre.” Therefore, a New Jersey judge ordered that “you can talk about what you want to talk about, but don’t reference (your husband) or the children.” However, the woman began using the word “Camelot” as code for her family, going against the court order and violating her probation. It is noted that she had used this code word over 160 times between the court order and her hearing.

The woman appealed this order, claiming that it restricted her first amendment rights. But is this actually a violation of her freedom of speech? Or is this court order in the best interest of protecting her children?

The appeal, issued on May 13, found that the order was not a violation of her first amendment right to free speech because it did not limit her from discussing anything other than her family. The restriction was merely in the attempts to protect her children and husband. Yet, this ruling draws a fine line in maintaining constitutionality. While I do believe that everyone is entitled to free speech, I also believe that there are exceptions to every rule, especially when it comes to protecting children from a harmful environment. However, with any ruling that teeters on the line of constitutionality, we have to be careful in that the case can be used as a precedent for further exceptions to the rule.

More information on this story can be found in this article, published by the Star-Ledger.

Photo credit: ©

When Companies Get Catfished

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

When it comes to online reviews, a company’s friends and its enemies may be one and the same. A recent study found that a company’s devoted customers are actually the most prevalent creators of fake negative online reviews. Think of it as a company’s version of being Catfished: The company assumes the negative reviewer’s an enemy, but when it knocks on the door, out comes one of its loyal customers. Cue the heartbreak and tears.

These customers are “self-appointed brand managers” who are so closely attached to the company that they take any missteps personally. They are like overly attached partners who lash out at what they view as threats to their relationship. They’re also like the nagging mother: She has the company’s best interests in mind, but she can’t help but point out that one thing it’s doing wrong, and she’s certainly not afraid of embarrassing it in public.

This obviously appears to be bad news for companies, as negative reviews could lead to a negative reputation. However, when it comes to the Internet, the number one rule is to never take things at face value, because people express themselves in different ways online (I’ve already mentioned Catfish, right?). In essence, online reviews are a low-credibility form of learning about the quality of a product or service. Wait… does that mean the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer isn’t a life changing product?

However, the idea that customers feel so devoted or tied to a company that they appoint themselves as “brand managers” is actually a good thing. These customers actually care about and are invested in the company’s operations, and they should lead to a bolstered reputation. The new challenge for companies is to channel their customers’ passionate feelings into more constructive pursuits than negative reviews.

Companies finding a barrage of negative reviews left by their so-called devoted customers must develop a strong social media presence. And no, this does not mean companies should just post puppy and kitten pictures on their Facebook pages.

What companies should do is move customer complaints toward their social media platforms. Companies who are responsive to complaints over social media strengthen their relationships with customers, who feel heard. A bonus is that the customers will never again complain that the company’s afraid of a little PDA, and others can see that the company’s accommodating and responsive.

The formula is simple: Let your customers’ voices be heard, but make sure they are able to hear your responses, too.

Golden Corral’s Dumpster Food

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Horror stories involving the disgusting mishandling of food by restaurant franchise employees aren’t exactly surprising anymore, but that doesn’t make new offenses any less nauseating. The latest whistle blower is Brandon Huber, an employee at Golden Corral’s Port Orange, Fla., location. Mr. Huber posted a YouTube video displaying, among other food items, an abundance of raw meat located next to an outdoor dumpster. Flies also surrounded the food. Ah, who doesn’t love that extra little zest to baby back ribs that can only be provided by marinating them next to a dumpster?

Golden Corral now faces a crisis. The YouTube video has garnered more than 2.3 million views, the story has permeated around social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit and now the mainstreammedia are picking up the story.

So, clearly Golden Corral has been begging for forgiveness, right?


So far, Golden Corral has done exactly one thing right: it’s met its key audience members where they are at by responding to the issue on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, where the story first broke. This ensures that, at the very least, its key audiences will be exposed to its response.

As for its actual response? Well, it stinks worse than its Port Orange restaurant’s dumpster meat. The Golden Corral official Twitter handle tweeted the following:


Keep in mind that this is the franchise’s first and only response to the crisis on its Twitter handle. No apology, just an “FYI” that gives the response unnecessary attitude. Even worse, the Golden Corral YouTube account responded to the video in a post that was flagged as spam.

Eric Holm, owner of the Port Orange Golden Corral restaurant, released a statement on the Golden Corral Facebook page. Mr. Holm doesn’t seem to understand the ramifications of the video, which he claims shows “improperly stored food,” a nice spin on what many others call “dumpster food.” Customers are now questioning whether or not this was an isolated incident, and he provides no reassurance. He also actually expresses disappointment at Mr. Huber for exposing the restaurant’s hazardous practices, which is something he is free to feel in private, but he should never be stating in public.

So, how should Golden Corral respond?

Golden Corral must take ownership, apologize and tell customers how it’s going to fix the problem.

So far, Golden Corral’s response gives the appearance that it views the situation as an annoyance that it shouldn’t have to deal with. To remedy this, Eric Holm needs to appear on video appearing genuinely remorseful that the situation happened at all, rather than upset that it was reported upon after it had (supposedly) been resolved. He needs to take personal ownership for allowing incompetent management to place food in such a hazardous area. He must answer why management even had to resort to hiding food near a fly-infested dumpster to avoid a food health inspection, and he must prove that the food that continues to be served actually lives up to food safety standards. Finally, he must tell his customers how he will ensure that a situation like this never happens again.

Simply put, apologies need to be made and action needs to be taken. If these things don’t happen, the food isn’t the only part of Golden Corral that will wind up in the dumpster.


Paula Deen’s Crisis Management Recipe

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

These days Paula Deen, celebrity chef, is creating a very different type of recipe. And no, this recipe doesn’t call for two pounds of butter.

Deen is hoping to use the perfect crisis management recipe in order to save her reputation and business empire. After admitting under oath during a discrimination lawsuit that she had previously used racial slurs, Deen has come under serious criticism from the public. The Food Network and Smithfield Foods have ended partnerships with her, which pose a serious threat to her multi-million dollar business of restaurants, products and endorsements. So what is in Paula Deen’s Crisis Management Recipe?  Let’s take a look at what she came up with.

  • 3 Cups of Video Apology

Deen released not one, but three video apologies in the wake of her racism scandal. While she had the right idea and acted quickly, it is unclear if she used the right “flavor” of video apology. All three were downright awkward: the first video is clearly edited to remove unflattering segments. It is hard to tell if viewers are watching the actual video she released or one that was edited on YouTube. The next two videos were equally as uncomfortable, with Deen fumbling for the right thing to say. It would have been more beneficial to the overall dish to prepare a concise statement giving her sincerest apologies.

  • 4 Sticks of Fans

Similar to Deen’s favorite ingredient, butter, the chef has had overwhelming support from many “sticks” of fans. Fans have been showing their love and support in many ways, including lining up for almost three hours at her restaurants across the country. They also have been threatening the Food Network with a boycott after the station announced that they will not be renewing Deen’s contract.


  • 1 ½ quarts of Today Show Interviews

We’re only using 1 ½ because Deen cancelled her original interview with Matt Lauer last Friday and just completed it today. Even though she did contradict her testimony, now claiming she has only used the n-word once, the interview went well. Deen explained that she is not a racist, does not tolerate racism and asks the country for forgiveness. She claimed using the term was a mistake and cleverly implies that everyone has said something in their lifetime that they regret. This interview was definitely a step up from her original apologies.

  • 5 teaspoons of tears

We knew this was coming. Many members of the media have been wondering if Deen would cry during her interview, and many people said it was necessary. The chef choked up while talking with Lauer and shed tears while issuing apologies and discussing the events. However, it’s unclear whether these tears were for herself or for all the people she’s offended with her language—which they should be.

  • A Pinch of Thank You’s

Deen also did not forget to thank her loyal fans and partners who have stood by her during the scandal. She also (tastefully) thanked the Food Network for the 11 years that they have worked together. By thanking them, Deen appears kind and classy, something that is necessary for her image.

Finally, mix all the ingredients together and bake with media reports and discussions. Once finished, only time will tell if the public will bite into her crisis management dish and her career will be saved, or if they will send it back and send Deen packing.

Two Words Cost News Anchor His Job

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Saying profanities under your breath on live television may not be the ideal way to begin a new job. Ask A.J. Clemente, a West Virginia University graduate who began his first ever news broadcast on North Dakota’s NBC affiliate KFYR with two very inappropriate words. We all get nervous our first day on the job, and A.J. lent his mistake to not knowing his microphone was live. Should A.J. have been a bit more careful as an aspiring news anchor? Maybe he truly was not aware, as he did not have any prior experience reporting. At first, A.J. was simply suspended for the slip, but on Monday he tweeted that he had been fired.

His tweets did not end there, but continued with a series of apologies, thank yous, and promises to come back better. He even admitted that the only thing he can do now is laugh at himself. A.J.’s mistake resulted in the Twitter trend #keepaj, which might not have been successful for his gig at KFYR, but who knows what is in store for him next. With almost 10,000 Twitter followers, people are certainly paying more attention to him now than they ever did before his first newscast.

Can he use the power of social media to turn this whole incident around and actually come back stronger? Now, the public knows his name and major news outlets are talking about him, which is not exactly the norm for North Dakota reporters. Does A.J. have the potential to save face and garner enough support to begin a new, successful endeavor? Only time will tell if the old adage that all press is good press can hold true in this controversial case.