Oreo-AMC fun is not a crisis, but if it were, interactive speed worth noting


Oreo and AMC Theaters would seem two brands whose legs would never tangle up.

But yesterday they did, in social media, and AMC came out as a major winner, because of some very worthwhile pre-thinking about how to manage and engage in social media.

Companies, as my social media guru colleague Chuck Beeler noted, should take note of what happened. For most brands, this is a scary world, resulting in layer after layer of approvals and ladder climbing that in the end prevent social media interaction.

So much of social dialogue is spontaneous that winners are nimble and have authority to work independently in these areas. AMC was beautifully positioned, thanks to Shane Adams, its social media commander. And his tasteful and creative responses helped AMC catapult itself and its brand into the rarefied air of Oreo’s 26 million Facebook friends.

You can read the details in the link above. But what happened is that Oreo Tweeted something fun and slightly provocative, asking its social media followers if they take Oreos into movie theaters. Adams caught that [a fact that shouldn’t go unnoticed in the retelling], reflected on his company’s policy of no outside snacks, and within eight minutes and with autonomy to do so, Tweeted an answer gently and with a 🙂 calling a foul on Oreo.

That’s not a North-South Civil War. It’s not even the Hadfields and the McCoys or Obama v. Romney. But in the social media world we’re all still trying to figure out, it’s a smart move to bolster and call attention to AMC’s brand.

“If there’s anything to learn from my story, it’s this: if you are a brand representative in social spaces, be sure that you understand your brand voice. Fight for an amount of autonomy where it makes sense so you can be agile and respond not just to customer service-related questions, but to the pop culture zeitgeist as well,” Adams concluded in a reflective blog post today.

Ditto that if you’re in a crisis. Neither AMC nor Oreo created a crisis — a major act of smart and laudable management by itself — but Adams utilized and characterized an approach to crisis management in the social era that resonates and teaches.

The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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