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So, @KennethCole screwed up and almost instantly became another case study for those of us in social media.

At around 10 AM, Kenneth Cole (-KC) tweeted: “Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at -KC”

Kenneth Cole Tweet

It took an hour for him to respond to that, tweeting: “Re Egypt tweet: we weren’t intending to make light of a serious situation. We understand the sensitivity of this historic moment – KC”

An hour after @KennethCole’s tweet, a new (and very @BPGlobalPR-esque) Twitter account was born: @KennethColePR, which already has over 2,000 followers at the time of this post and is rising every minute.

Kenneth Cole PR Tweet

Social media moves fast. Really, really fast. How many times do we have to learn this lesson: Think before you Tweet!

UPDATE: As I was writing this post, Kenneth Cole released a response on the Kenneth Cole Facebook page Discussion board. It currently has 76 comments.

I apologize to everyone who was offended by my insensitive tweet about the situation in Egypt. I’ve dedicated my life to raising awareness about serious social issues, and in hindsight my attempt at humor regarding a nation liberating themselves against oppression was poorly timed and absolutely inappropriate.

Kenneth Cole, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer

10 minutes ago · Report  



It’s clear what he did wrong, but what about the things he did right? He didn’t show up on Twitter overnight and start blasting nonsense. In fact he was anticipating their 1,000th tweet, which ended up as the apology for his insensitive, and now infamous, tweet.

  • The @KennethCole Twitter account is well branded.
  • The bio discloses who is tweeting from the account (Bio: Thoughts that end in -KC are from me personally; others are behind the seams insights from my inspiring associates.)
  • The account is regularly updated with relevant links & thoughts.
  • The “inspiring associates” are often the ones responding to feedback on his behalf, but there is a conversation taking place.

This is another opportunity for brands (and individuals) to take a step back and remember that every tweet matters. There’s always someone out there reading what you are saying, especially if you are a big brand. After putting in all the money, time and effort it takes to create a place for consumers to engage with you online, you have to be very careful with what you say and how you say it.

Tweet Responsibly.


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