Goldmine or Minefield?

Public relations is a fast-paced, constantly evolving field. Social media has revolutionized the public public relations landscape, necessitating new campaigns, faster responses and timely crisis management.

In my first blog post I visited the Ice Bucket Challenge and the positive reaction and affirmation that spread via social media making the campaign a viral sensation.

In my second blog post, I explored Bud Lights use of social media in their ‘Up for Whatever’ campaign and the benefits that this brings to their public relation campaign.

Not all social media is positive however with social media also proving to be a minefield for public relations in some instances.

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Image source: Flickr-Creative Commons, Tim Rlch and Lesley Katon, 

Bud Light’s wide-spread ‘Up for Whatever’ campaign initially generated positive response and feedback. Recently it has been subject to repeated scandal and controversy.

With Bud Light’s release of a bottle with the tagline the “perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” the seemingly overt date-rape implications of this tagline led to outcry against Bud Light across social media platforms.

The bottle was originally bought to light by a Reddit post and the reaction across social media was felt immediately.

While anger and disgust towards Bud Light’s choice of marketing took a short time to explode over social media, it was two hours before Bud Light responded to the outcry, showing the need for constant monitoring of social media.

According to Bud Light’s official statement, Bud Light had created 140 messages to be displayed on bottles that were intended to encourage ‘brand engagement.’

This is just one example of Bud Light’s ‘Up for Whatever’ campaign missing it’s intended mark. In March, they were slammed for their St Patrick’s Day tweet which was interpreted by many as encouraging rape-culture and sexual harassment.

Like the storms that have arisen during the ‘Up for Whatever’ campaign. controversy that arises from public relation efforts can go viral over social media debilitating the campaign and necessitating crisis management.

Public relations practitioners must be wary and constantly monitor social media to ensure that they effectively control any crisis that may erupt.

While Bud Light’s ‘Up for Whatever’ campaign effectively uses social media to create excitement and positive feeling towards the brand, their recent scuffles have engendered much animosity towards them. Public relation practitioners must therefore utilize the power of social media to spread their message as well as being prepared to manage any negative viral storm that may erupt.

References:

http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/18567.aspx

http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/bud-light-not-responding-to-unfortunate-remove-no-from-your-vocabulary-tagline/113380

http://consumerist.com/2015/03/17/bud-light-deletes-tweet-suggesting-you-randomly-pinch-people-for-st-patricks-day/

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