Young PR Pros: Episode #69 – Home Depot’s Social Media Crisis

home depot header
This week, Kristine D’Arbelles and Julia Kent are actually sitting face to face for the recording. You can just hear the excitement in their voices. A more human connecting recording deserves a chat about being human. How to be a social human organization to be exact.

A couple of days ago, Gini Dietrich posted an article about how Home Depot tried to mitigate a social media crisis. Although it may seem that they followed the step-by-step process of how to get out of a social media crisis, the company left one tiny factor out: they forgot to be human.

This conversation leads Kristine and Julia to remind young professionals of the importance of being a human behind your social media accounts.

We also debate what is considered a fireable offence. Home Depot ends up terminating the social media agency and the employee who sent the Tweet. We all make mistakes, did Home Depot go to far? Julia shares with us some social media bloopers of her own.

We want to hear from you? Share your social media bloopers with us? Do you think Home Depot was right? Share with us how you try and stay human on social media. You can post your comments below or on our Facebook Page, or on our Google+ page, or in our LinkedIn group, or on Pinterest, or send us an email at youngprpros@gmail.com, or send us a message on Twitter @youngprpros@kristinedarbell or @kentjulia.

2 thoughts on “Young PR Pros: Episode #69 – Home Depot’s Social Media Crisis

  1. I absolutely agree that Home Depot’s reaction and apology were the furthest thing from “human.” In my own blog this week, I talked about this same situation. It’s honestly kind of funny that they thought it would be okay to copy paste the same apology 100 + times and that people would accept that as “sincere.” They would have been much better off publishing/Tweeting their statement and letting it go. Instead, their Twitter feed just looks incredibly unprofessional with the same apology Tweet posted so many times.

    I agree that it was also dehumanizing to fire the agency, especially considering they probably approved the strategy before anything went out.

    Nice work! I enjoyed your podcast and I’ll be sure to check back. I’m a young PR pro in the United States–always interested in learning more about what others like me think.

    • Hi Lyndsey,

      Thanks for listening to the show. It is always great to hear from listeners. You make a good point that we didn’t mention in our podcast, Home Depot would have had to approve a strategy before the agency had permission to roll it out. They shouldn’t have been so harsh, but again, we don’t know the whole story behind the relationship between the agency and Home Depot.

      This might also open the floor to a conversation about the pros and cons of hiring an agency or third party to run your organization’s Twitter account. I have always been of the school of thought that social media should be managed internally. Social media strategies and audits should come from an agency, but the day-to-day tweeting should come from within.

      What do you think?

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