Social Media Digest: #BeBold Fiasco, MP’s Twape & More

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February 3rd, 2012

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Welcome once again to the latest edition of our social media roundup.  Here’s what’s making the headlines in the world of social:

1. Too Bold: RIM (the company behind Blackberry) suffered yet another PR blunder this week after a rather embarrassing attempt at crowdsourcing user-generated

The #BeBold Team have caused quite a stir

The #BeBold Team have caused quite a stir

publicity from Twitter, promoting the hashtag #BeBold. It all started on New Year’s Eve when RIM ran a campaign asking how folks planned to #BeBold in 2012. Based on some of their responses, RIM created four mascots in the form of cartoon superheroes, provoking global criticism and mockery from disgruntled tweeps usurping the #BeBold hashtag. As a recent convert to the church of Apple, I found @bpollard89’s tweet – ‘#BeBold, get an iPhone’ – the most amusing. A mere 3 months after the BBM fiasco, RIM crisis comms team will undoubtedly be extremely busy once again over the coming weeks.

2. Pimp My Page – Twitter introduced a redesign in December, however this week the micro-blogging site announced that it would be launching enhanced profiles for brands. The initial branded pages included: American Express, Bing, Coca-Cola, Dell, Disney Pixar, Heineken, McDonald’s, and a few more. With Facebook’s IPO, Twitter will be under even more pressure to become more brand-centric, although as Paddy Harrington once said: ‘branding is for cows, stories are for people.’

3. End of his Korea – Park Jeonggeun, a 24 year old South Korea has been detained for a re-tweet about the late despot Kim Jong-Il, which included a satirical edited version of a North Korean propaganda poster. A noted critic of the North Korean regime, Park told Amnesty International “My intention was to lampoon North Korea’s leaders for a joke.” Nonetheless, South Korea officials claim his retweet is a violation of the National Security Law, under the grounds of committing “acts that benefit the enemy.” Park could face upto seven years in prison for his mockery. In a strange twist of foreign policy, North and South Korea are still technically at war with each other, however surely imprisoning a citizen over free expression is comparable with the ideology they claim to oppose?

4. Twaped – On the subject of inability to identify humour on Twitter, Labour MP Tom Watson has been in the news this week after his intern jokingly tweeted: ‘I should log out of my Twitter so that my intern doesn’t twit-rape me…,’ similar to the social-prank known as ‘fraping’ on Facebook. The intern shortly posted an apology, however the Twitter-blunder caused an uproar of antagonistic commentators advocating her dismissal as well as many tweeps with a sense of humour orchestrating a campaign to #savetheintern. The media-savvy MP, who lead the charge against News Corp in 2011, was quick to respond on his blog, perhaps amusingly in parts: ‘though my account wasn’t technically ‘hacked’, yes, I do understand the irony of what happened.’ Regardless of certain peoples’ sensitivity to the vulgar word, Mr Watson was wise not to dismiss the intern and respond in a timely, professional manner.

5. Love is in the airTiffany announced it was partnering with fashion blogger couple Scott Schuman and Garance Doré for an extension of its ‘What Makes Love True’ campaign. The couple is presented as the archetypical couple for the project ‘True Love in Pictures,’ which aims to create a gallery to represent real couples in love from Paris and New York. The project was celebrated at an event at the Tiffany & Co. flagship store in New York last week and from Monday people have been able to upload their own ‘moments of romance’. Users can post their love dovey photos to Twitter, Facebook or email to friends and family.

6. Bayern Munchkins – Prominent German football club Bayern Munich upset thousands of their fans this week in a failed social stunt. The club announced it had agreed to sign a ‘spectacular name.’ The news spread like wildfire and soon became a top trend on Twitter. Fans were then instructed to like the Facebook page and accept an application invite to watch a live stream of the new superstar. But when the moment came to do the big reveal, fans logged in to find Nerlinger holding a piece of paper showing the profile picture of the Facebook user watching the video, accompanied by a message reading: ‘Dear fans, you probably already noticed, that we did not sign a new player. This app is for our fans to show the importance of you for our club.’ Within minutes, thousands of angry fans vented their frustration on Twitter and Facebook at the gimmicky stunt. Considering Bayern recently missed out on the signing o Monchengladbach and Marco Reus to rivals Dortmund, this was an insult to injury for many loyal fans.

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PR & social media, with a bit more