Over the last several months, I’ve had a couple opportunities to learn about the Malala Fund and the upcoming film release, “He Named Me Malala.” Co-founded by Malala Yousafzai and her father, the fund works to secure girls’ rights to a minimum of 12 years of quality education, particularly in the global south. The goal is to help girls achieve their potential and positively impact their local communities for the rest of their lives. Below are a few stats on why this is such important work.
We’ve all heard the phrase “loose lips sink ships” before. Now the phrase “loose tweets sink markets” can be coined, as long as you don’t mind if your idioms don’t rhyme.
On Tuesday, Apr. 24, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked the Associated Press’s official Twitter account. The hacker group then tweeted there had been an explosion at the White House and President Barack Obama had been injured in the blast.
Aside from stirring up panic among the AP’s massive online audience (the AP has more than 1 million Twitter followers), it also created hysteria at the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE streams certain Twitter feeds across electronic banners on the trading floor, and you guessed it, the AP is one of those accounts the exchange broadcasts. After Wall Street traders got a glimpse at the offending tweet, a massive sell-off occurred, creating what is often referred to as a “flash crash.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 130 points, nearly one percent, over the span of two minutes. Six minutes later, the Dow had gained back nearly all that lost value. Another major index, The S&P 500, lost $121 billion dollars in value during this flash crash.
The stock market is known for experiencing wild swings, but these typically occur over the course of days, weeks or months. It is very unusual for such a large drop (or gain for that matter) to happen in the span of just a few minutes.
This incident demonstrates the power of social media. One fake tweet was able to move the entire stock market and cause people to react in such drastic fashion. Nearly 9 million shares of Dow stocks were traded during that dip. Let this incident serve as a demonstration of the power of social media.
Social media has given our voices a 24-hour, multinational broadcasting signal. As a result, those regrettable conversations you used to have in face-to-face settings can now turn into front-page headlines.
Sometimes these gaffes are funny, such as when a staffer for a U.S. Congressman tweeted “Me likey Broke Girls” on the Congressman’s Twitter account. Other times, though, the mishap is much less innocuous. A tragedy or serious news event is not something brands should be using as a selling tool, but we’ve seen them ignore this sage advice time and time again.
We’ve seen it in Kenneth Cole’s infamous Arab Spring tweet, and earlier this year, Australian online retailer, Sellitonline, posted that it would donate to wild fire victims based on how many Facebook likes it received.
Now, Epicurious is in hot water for a couple of tweets it published this week in relation to the recent Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. It received instant backlash and has had to resort to an aggressive apology campaign on Twitter.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but brands need to leave these sort of catastrophic events alone. This is not an appropriate way to promote a brand. Messages of condolences are fine. Charitable donations are acceptable as well, as long as the donation is straightforward and not made into a contest like Sellitonline attempted to do.
At the end of the day, Epicurious did much more harm to its image that greatly outweighs any potential sales those tweets could have generated.
The Huffington Post recently posted a list of the Worst Ads for Women 2012. As an agency that specializes in marketing to women, we love to look at these lists. We usually have a pretty good sense of humor, but sometimes these ads are just offensive. Here is their full list:
Here at FletcherPR, we like to celebrate women and it's nice when others do the same. For today's post, we wanted to share this fabulous list of reasons why being a woman is awesome (originally posted at Glamour magazine's Conversation blog).
As many folks are coming back to work today after the holiday weekend, we are curious what you're coming back to. Is your desk one big pile of paper and to-do lists? Do you have files falling all over the place and an abundance of post-it notes you can't quite decipher? It's hard enough to come back to work after a break, but coming back to chaos can make things even more difficult.
As a public relations firm that specializes in marketing to women, we notice when brands reach out to female audiences in unique and innovative ways. Kotex, a leader in the feminine hygiene market, recently launched a campaign to engage female consumers in its Middle Eastern markets.