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“Shoe City and Crisis Management”

Shoe City crisis

This last week has proven to be an interesting case study on crisis management for Shoe City.

The rumblings and eventual media fallout started with a one of their new ads thought up by agency Lowe Bull, displayed below.

Shoe City Cat Ad

Draw your own conclusions…

I’m not going to go into whether this ad offends or not – this is for you to make up your own mind.

What sparked my interest was really around the handling of the situation but more so around the handling of the crisis online.

The Shoe City Facebook page has a carefully worded apology on the page, which is a good start – more about that in a moment…

As the drama unfolded with Bizcommunity.com providing what seemed to be the main online outlet for press releases on behalf of Shoe City and their ad agency – there seemed to be nothing in the way of social media, forums and blogs.

I have even seen some complaints being lodged on consumer complaints site – Hellopeter which is even more interesting.

Twitter was ablaze with bad publicity around the Shoe City ads but there was nor response and no crisis management in evidence from the company aprat from some Facebook intervention.

What’s even more bizarre is that there is nothing on their website to mitigate, explain or otherwise in the way of this crisis?

It was pretty much a PR affair with nothing else to support it.

Unfortunately for Shoe City by not having a crisis response plan and an integrated social media crisis response framework in place – they have probably done a lot more damage to their brand than they think. But having said this – I have just seen a gesture of a contribution to the animal anti cruelty league – something small which may go a long way, maybe.

But again its been a limited response from the company – better than a lot of others that do not respond at all but they could have done more from a social media and online perspective – especially on their website which seems to be forgotten.

What do you think?

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