Newsjacking is a new concept that many businesses have started using to attract attention to itself or a product. The basic idea of newsjacking is capitalizing on a current event in hopes of gaining a profit or new customers from it.
When it is done correctly, a business can reap the benefits from it. However, when it is done incorrectly, it can cause a business to receive bad publicity. Unfortunately, Kenneth Cole, a high-class clothing company, experienced the negative effects of a poor attempt at newsjacking.
In 2011, Kenneth Cole had a major newsjacking scandal after releasing a tweet about Egypt’s revolution. When the tweet was released Cairo, Egypt was in the middle of a revolution. Large demonstrations and protest against poverty and corruption were occurring daily. During the Egyptian revolution over 840 people were killed and over 6,000 were injured.
Kenneth Cole released a tweet that said, “millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collections is available online.” The public’s response was not positive at all. Many people were uncomfortable and angered by the tweet because they felt as though the company was making light of a serious situation.
Some people responded to the tweet by saying, “You can’t compare a sale to a revolution #disgusting.” While others said, “Don’t you know being a jerk on the internet is bad business.”
After getting a lot of negative response Kenneth Cole deleted the tweet.
- Newsjacking is a risky strategy because it can anger the public, cause consumers to feel uncomfortable and make the brand look insensitive.
- If a company decides that it wants to newsjack, it is imperative that the post does not make light of a serious situation.
- As evidenced by the Kenneth Cole’s case, newsjacking a violent revolution is not a smart idea.
- Notably, Kenneth Cole did have a quick reaction to the crisis it caused. The company quickly removed the tweet and publically acknowledged that it had made a mistake.
- It is important to have a communications team that knows when certain social media tactics are appropriate and effective.
- Since the release of that tweet, Kenneth Cole has yet to have another newsjacking scandal.
By: Rachel Brown, Account Executive
Twitter Handle: @Rachel_Brown_2