Kitchen Aid’s Crisis Management success

imageWhat happened to Kitchen Aid the other week could happen to any brand  During the presidential debate, one of the team that managed the Kitchen Aid’s official Twitter account made an error that blew up very quickly.

The official @kitchenaidUSA account tweeted:

"Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president,"

Kitchen Aid deleted the Tweet, and issued an apology

Cynthia Soledad, head of Kitchen Aid went on the record to talk to Mashable and apologise for the Tweet. She immediately took responsibility, spoke freely to the media and quenched the social media fire that burned.

It seems to have worked. Mashable published this image from Simply Measures showing how quickly the mentions of the brand reduced as the apologies and media interviews were broadcast.

Crisis management depends on three things:

Swift ownership of the issue by senior leader

Immediate apology or retraction of the offensive statement

Availability for follow up information

In the background, at the brand other things are important to ensure that damage is limited:

Adequate training and awareness of crisis consequences

Defined lines of communication and crisis plan

Damage limitation and virtual messaging team (PR / spokespeople / exec team)

And most of all – a co-ordinated response across the relevant channel. If it happens on Twitter, rectify it on Twitter, if it happens on Facebook, rectify it on Facebook.  Then ensure that other channels point to the apology and damage limitation statement. It has got to be authentic, it has got to be open, it has got to be honest.

And it has got to be done quickly – before brand perception starts its downhill slide

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Image credit: smith_cl9 and Mashable