What To Do When An Influential Doctor Launches A Social Media Rampage Against Your Over-The-Counter Product
by Lee Zeidman
A social media influencer went on a Twitter rampage against a personal care company. She claimed the company’s products were unsafe and that retailers should pull them off the shelves. When confronted online by the company, the situation escalated with the influencer using her platforms to question the company’s ethics and integrity. Realizing their issue had had gone from bad to worse, the company called in 3D to help. The 3D team was challenged with addressing a “Twitter tantrum” that had the potential to do lasting damage to the company’s reputation.
3D immediately launched an investigation to answer the “who and why” behind this crisis. We discovered that the influencer was a physician and best-selling healthcare author who had a history of mounting social media attacks to promote her upcoming books.
Company executives were angry and wanted an aggressive response. 3D advised that the best thing to do would likely be the most challenging for company leaders, and that was to stop responding publicly to the accusations. While the company went silent on social media, our team got spokespeople ready for background briefings with reporters, prompting them to push reporters to consider the source – pointing out that a medical license is no guarantee of expertise or of fairness and accuracy.
In a few short days, the company’s anger was replaced by amusement, then relief. Because of the “silent treatment,” the attention-seeking doctor lost interest, and the sensationalism dwindled quickly.
3D’s crisis strategy stopped the Twitter tantrum and limited impact on the business, and the company continues to enjoy a positive reputation among consumers and retailers.