From the world of Reddit, we’ve seen how social monitoring can lead to a PR win for a brand.
For NFL fans, you can’t name two more dissimilar quarterbacks than New England Patriot Tom Brady and free agent Tim Tebow. Brady was a mediocre college player turned three-time Super Bowl champion—arguably the face of the league. Tebow was a college star who has yet to make his mark in his brief, yet polarizing, NFL career.
A lot of people—especially in the Boston area—love Brady. Many of them passionately dislike Tebow (and the New York Jets).
So it’s understandable why someone would be upset if they ordered a Tom Brady Fathead—for the uninitiated, it’s a giant, removable wall poster bearing a player’s likeness—and instead received one depicting Tebow wearing a Jets uniform.
So upset was one Reddit user that he posted a photo illustrating this experience under the headline, “Ordered a Tom Brady fathead for my new office. Opened up the package and got this. You’ve gotta be f-ing kidding me…
Boston-area sports network NESN even ran a brief story
about it yesterday, and ESPN’s Darren Rovell tweeted @Fathead about the situation.
Fathead reached out to the user and sent him “every single Brady poster they make, roughly $1,000 worth of merchandise
,” according to the customer's follow-up post with an accompanying image. He continued, “And credit to Fathead’s PR team.”
In the comments section of the follow-up post, the original user questioned Fathead’s intentions:
“…it's incredibly nice of them to send me all of this, but I also kinda have that feeling that I was just bought off for good publicity, as I feel karmically (not the reddit kind) bound to share this after starting such a huge PR cluster**ck for them.”
Fathead made light of the situation with this tweet, linking to a CBS Sports story:
It clearly raises questions for PR pros: When your company messes up like this, is it done with the expectation that the person who was wronged will re-post the make-good in their social channels? What percentage of Fathead’s response came because the fan’s outrage went viral?
If it had been a consumer complaint through their usual email or hotline channels, would the person have gotten such generous atonement? My guess is probably not.
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