How to convert social media critics into avid fans

It’s any PR or marketing pro’s nightmare: GT’s Living Food’s CEO was singled out in a mocking YouTube video. His response flipped the tables and netted him new fans.

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Social media provides a plethora of engagement opportunities, but the medium is not without its risks.

When faced with online ridicule, most brand managers’ instinct is to avoid commentary and ride out criticism until the news cycle turns to another story, trend or misstep. GT Dave, founder and chief executive of GT’s Living Foods, decided instead to lean in, which boosted his brand and netted the organization a huge PR win.

Here’s what PR pros learn from Dave, about social media and the power of humor in a rancorous media climate:

It started with a YouTube video

On May 29, YouTube creator Cody Ko published a video called “The Kombucha King,” in which he and creator Noel Miller mocked a video that Forbes created, highlighting Dave:

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