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When Walls Come Down: Personal Collides with Professional, and Social Succeeds

Step 1. Become a Twitter aficionado: use it personally, and then become a “social media expert” at your job. Tweet on behalf of your organization, sometimes even when you’re off the clock. Use some snazzy tool like HootSuite to help you manage your various personal and professional accounts.

Step 2. While making use of said snazzy tool (and typing it on an equally snazzy smartphone), accidentally tweet to the wrong account. Say something about “#gettingslizzerd” in reference to a favorite beer. On your non-profit’s Twitter feed. Oops.

Step 3: Profit! [...really?!?]

Yes, really. As We Love DC and others have reported, The Red Cross recovered nicely – some might say, profited – from a “rogue tweet” gone wild. Two internal factors helped calm the storm -  a sense of humor:

We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.

and a supportive team:

“I’m very grateful to work in an organization with people who truly understand social media and embrace it, mistakes and all.”

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the brewery responded and pitched in, asking followers to donate to the Red Cross. On the whole, a great PR win for the Red Cross and Dogfish Head. That’s not to say that “rogue tweeting” is to be encouraged, but this is a great lesson in how creative damage control can be the most effective.  As a commenter noted, how you handle a potential PR disaster can be indicative of your organization’s values, which is especially crucial for “helping” charities and non-profits:

“It reinforces my belief that the organization treats its employees and volunteers with compassion and understanding.”

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