Social media addicts may already be aware of the JSA (JobSeekers Allowance) Plus Benefits Tesco PR disaster that is currently sweeping sections of the web. For those of you not in the know, I’ll quickly summarise:
Whether you believe that Tesco are right or wrong with regards to the job vacancy (especially as it seems there was an error made in the listing by JobCentrePlus), it is how they have handled the situation that I find most interesting.
The backlash over Twitter and Facebook has generated comments like these:
Tesco have been responding via both their Tesco Media and Tesco Customer Care Twitter accounts by trying to focus on the number of jobs that they create, the error made in the original job listing and their intentions behind the creating the position:
On their Facebook page however Tesco seem to be absent with the vast majority of the complaints and posts going unanswered and as of yet there hasn’t been an official statement via the news feed on their corporate site, Tesco PLC.
How do you begin to formulate a response to a crisis like this?
What could have done to avoid the current Tesco PR disaster?
There are definite echoes of the Paperchase scandal that made the headlines in February 2010 when independent Hide n Seek challenged their use of an image in their products. Similarly to Tesco there was a backlash from the online community which in this case resulted in denial of service attacks on the Paperchase website and droves of negative comments on their Amazon listed products, which were subsequently taken down. Granted the Tesco PR disaster is not a case of Corporate vs Individual, but it is a case of The Big Guys vs The Small Guys; and in my experience it is these kind of struggles that the internet community likes to get behind.
Tesco are certainly big enough to shake a crisis of this size but the online community have long memories. As we become more digitally dependant, they are not a community that even the big boys want to upset. Companies and individuals do not own their own reputations, they are made by others. Google used to say, “Don’t Be Evil.” At 3ManFactory we like “Be Nice.”
To find out about 3ManFactory’s PR services including crisis management head to our Marketing & PR page.
Sunny Hundal’s blog and today’s article in The Huffington Post have more detail on the wider issue of fair employment practices.
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