Thursday, November 20, 2008

My take on the Motrin debacle

No news to anyone interested in PR these days, but Motrin screwed the pooch over the past week. How can any company be taken by surprise by a negative reaction to a new campaign nowadays? Consumers are active, vocal and organized. You might want to run your messages by them before rolling out a campaign. Get their feedback- you know, find out what their pain points are (he he).

Here is an excellent list of things to do, from

Of the many blog posts published by communicators and pundits with opinions, one of the best I’ve seen comes from Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang and lessons learned:

  • Always test your campaign with a small segment first
  • Always have staff on hand to be prepared to respond during the weekend
  • Don’t launch a campaign right before the weekend unless you’re prepared to respond
  • The participants have the power, so participate
  • For better or for worse, more influencers are talking about Motrin than ever before

I’d add one in the middle:

  • Ask yourself: what is our plan of action if a viral effect develops around our brand/product/service, especially out of our normal business hours?

But it’s the last two of Jeremiah’s bullet points that are especially important.


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