By Tom Hanaway (@tomhanaway)
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a day where everyone pretends they are Irish and wears an obnoxious amount of green. (No, for real. My sophomore year someone walked around campus in a bright green suit. Not flattering.)
Besides green, there are a few other elements associated with St. Patrick’s Day, namely drinking. And with drinking follows a lot of risky behavior.
Drinking and driving is a lethal combination, but drinking and tweeting can be devastating to your reputation. Perhaps you should not only give your car keys to your friend, but your cell phone, too. That’s a lesson the Red Cross learned the hard way.
In February, a social media manager accidentally sent out a tweet through the Red Cross account instead of her own, causing quite a ruckus. The tweet read: “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…. when we drink we get it right #gettingslizzard.”
I don’t know who “Ryan” is, and any beer with the word “Dogfish” in it doesn’t sound delicious, but what I do know is that the tweet caused commotion at the Red Cross. Mashable reported that the social media director for the Red Cross was awoken in the middle of the night in order to do some damage control.
Fortunately the Red Cross was able to quickly bounce back from the embarrassing tweet with some humor. The next tweet read: “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”
The Red Cross was effectively able to laugh off the mistake and downplay what could have been a huge gaffe for the company. The Red Cross even received special donations because of the “rogue” tweet.
Consumers were able to push the beer company mentioned in the tweet to donate a large sum of money to the Red Cross. Dogfish also asked its consumers donate to the Red Cross, creating a great public image for both organizations.
While the Red Cross was able to recover from the potentially disastrous tweet, not all of us would be so lucky. Make sure you are careful during holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, otherwise you might completely destroy your personal and professional reputation. Hand over your phone to a friend, make your roommate change your Twitter password, or hide your computer’s power cord. Do whatever it takes to make sure you have a fun, but not embarrassing, St. Patrick’s Day.