Harvard Business Review Case study

January 13, 2014
Harvard Business Review Case

Charlene Thompson achieved on her phone on nightstand. It had been nonetheless before 6:00am, and so the iPhone’s radiance was really the only light when you look at the space. Her husband, James, turned over and groaned.

“That’s a terrible habit, ” he stated. “You should have coffee before examining your inbox.”

“This is very important, honey, ” she whispered. “i must see what’s happening utilizing the contest.”

(Editor’s Note: This fictionalized research study can look in a forthcoming dilemma of Harvard Business Evaluation, along with commentary from professionals and visitors. If you’d such as your comment to be considered for book, please make sure you integrate your complete name, business or institution association, and e-mail target.)

Charlene ended up being the head of public relations for Canadian Jet. Yesterday, by using the company’s PR company, Wrigley & Walters, the airline had launched its first Twitter competition: the one who uploaded probably the most innovative tweet making use of the hashtag #CanJetLuxury would win two round-trip tickets to any associated with business’s locations.

For Charlene, that has led the airline’s communications for fifteen years, this campaign was vital. Half a year before, a 3rd of Canadian Jet’s fleet had been grounded for per week due to some motor security issues, causing a multitude of cancellations and delays. There had been some unfavorable hit towards airline’s approach to labor relations after a threatened attack by the floor teams. The group at Wrigley & Walters had created this campaign to revive Canadian Jet’s image as a preferred company.

“Shoot. This isn’t good, ” Charlene stated as she scrolled through an endless sequence of tweets.

“Just What? It’s maybe not catching on?” James asked groggily.

“Just the reverse. Yet Not in a great way.” She read a few of the tweets: “‘Getting to my destination minus the engine catching fire #CanJetLuxury’; ‘Being stranded 3, 000 miles from my family for just two days right #CanJetLuxury’; #CanJetLuxury is getting away with maybe not having to pay workers relatively.'”

“Ouch, ” James stated.

It is entirely backfiring, Charlene thought as she got up out of bed.

“in which will you be going?” he asked.

“i have to phone Jerry.”

7:30am

Jerry Schneider, Canadian Jet’s CEO, had been tapping his hands on their desk while he and Charlene waited the other people to arrive. He'dn’t said much yet, but Charlene could tell which he had been feeling the worries, also.

Tim Powell, Charlene’s director of social media marketing, turned up with Andrea Kemp, the company’s account manager from Wrigley & Walters. Both seemed flustered.

“Sorry, ” Tim stated. “We had trouble getting Andrea’s pass.”

Andrea shook Jerry’s hand and started talking before she sat down.

“OK, therefore we understood this was a risk going in, right? People love to grumble on the internet, especially when they could basically be unknown like this.” Charlene knew Andrea’s quickly speaking ended up beingn’t an indication of nerves. She ended up being simply the type of individual who was energized by a crisis. And she was correct — through the planning procedure, she’d reminded Charlene and her staff that critics could use social networking campaigns like this anyone to bash the organization. JPMorgan Chase was indeed a current victim of hashtag backlash after establishing a well-meaning Twitter Q&A, she told all of them, and she had sent around a Forbes.com article about how precisely among McDonald’s promotions has actually lead to a “bashtag.” She reminded all of them now of the other cases.

“I’m uncertain once you understand we’re in great company is any comfort today, ” Jerry stated. He requested Tim for an update.

“They’re however arriving: 200 more tweets using the CanJetLuxury hashtag since 6am. The majority is good — good, also — but there are doozies.”

Jerry rolled their eyes. “I don’t even wish hear any longer.”

“And we’ve began trending, which isn’t great, because of the situations, ” stated Tim.

“How do we stop trending?” Jerry requested. The CEO was three years removed from the Millennials, and though he did his better to match social networking, he had beenn’t as savvy as Tim or Charlene.

“We could change the hashtag and get people to start using a brand new one, ” Tim recommended. “Other companies have done that.”

“And it's worked, ” Andrea noted. “By focusing men and women regarding the new hashtag, you draw attention from the one that was causing dilemmas, and individuals are less likely to throw-in unique witty insults. It Might simply take a couple of days the old hashtag to peter down, though.”

“That feels like a remedy, ” Jerry said. “That method we save the competition and allow this entire mess blow more than.”

“Or we're able to simply end the competition completely, ” Charlene provided.

“Yes, you may remember that’s exactly what JPMorgan did, ” Andrea stated. “When anyone hijacked the hashtag to tweet about ‘capitalist pigs, ’ they canceled the Q&A.”

“And they came off appearing like the arrogant jerks everyone was claiming them becoming, ” Tim stated.

Andrea nodded. “Let’s perhaps not jump the gun here. Most of these tweets tend to be good. They say some beautiful reasons for having clients’ experiences with Canadian Jet. If you terminate, you might wind up alienating the people which submitted real entries and they are dreaming about those round-trip passes. It could be more straightforward to ignore the bashes and concentrate from the good promotion you’re getting.”

“And when the hit begins phoning?” Charlene asked. She stressed it was simply a matter of time before she'd need certainly to begin fielding questions.

“You use the large road and state how happy you may be using the positive responses, ” Andrea advised.

“So far I’m not enjoying any of these options, ” Jerry said.

Tim cleared their throat. “We could apologize. it is worked for us in past times.” Three years right back, one of several functions VPs had come up with the concept in order to make buttons with “We’re sorry” in big black letters and have now trip attendants, pilots, and airport staff wear them when a flight had been delayed or canceled, even though it wasn’t the airline’s fault. Consumer reaction to the technique was indeed overwhelmingly positive. It had even assisted win the flight a market customer service award.

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Source: hbr.org
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