Employee sends out errant tweet using @RedCross Twitter account

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Mashable posted an article yesterday about how people use social media in times of emergency. Later in the night, one of the largest health and crisis management organizations in the world and one featured in the article had an emergency of its own.

[2/16 Update: Rogue tweeter revealed below. After scanning a number of tweets, it looks like the incident actually resulted in a slight uptick in donations and interest in giving blood. The Red Cross blogged about how the tweet helped the organization.]

[2/16 Update II: Fox News and Mashable have since picked up the story and it is a trending topic on Twitter in the U.S. and among the top 15 trending topics in the world (estimated) right now.]

[2/16 Update III: Dogfish Head’s blog post on the matter.]


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An employee with access to the @RedCross Twitter account accidentally posted about their night of drinking Dogfish Head Midas Touch and tagged the message #gettngslizzerd.

Tools for managing multiple Twitter accounts and smartphones that handle Twitter messaging alongside text messaging have made such mistakes easier than ever before. The Red Cross message was initially visible to nearly 270,000 followers subscribing to that account but dozens hundreds of re-tweets (when the same message is re-sent from another person) and tweets about his post have put that number well into the millions.

In a slight tinge of irony, earlier in the day, the Brewers Association released a press release about its SAVOR event coming in June; one of the main goals of the event is to raise the image of beer to be equal to that of wine, a difficult task given the barrage of beer advertisements featuring lowbrow humor. On the other hand, it’s a nice bit of publicity for Dogfish Head though the brewery, growing as rapidly as it is, doesn’t need it.

Red Cross later deleted the tweet and replaced it with a new one that reads, “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.” At least they have a sense of humor about the matter.

We’ll see if they do in the morning behind closed doors. The Red Cross PR head says that Huang will not be fired over the incident.

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35 thoughts on “Employee sends out errant tweet using @RedCross Twitter account

  1. Thanks for being so forgiving and laughing with us about the matter. Keys are in hand, we promise.

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  3. I struggled to come up with a headline that conveyed the general point. “Employee/rep sends out tweet using @RedCross Twitter account” wouldn’t have cut it. “What not to do when you drink Dogfish Head” wouldn’t have been descriptive enough of the situation in my opinion and perhaps more TMZ-like.

  4. Hi guys,
    I’m the head of PR at the Red Cross. Let me just clear up what happened here. We had an employee who was in HootSuite and thought the tweet was coming from a personal Twitter account. The person was actually logged into our Red Cross account. It was an honest mistake and nobody was drunk tweeting. We’re cool about it here. Thanks all.

  5. Thanks, Laura. I’ll amend the headline to say ‘errant’ instead of ‘drunk’ as a courtesy. I think everyone reading the article is cool about it as well and having a good laugh. It’s good PR.

  6. Pingback: #gettingslizzerd with the Red Cross « Leggotron Marketing & Communications

  7. Thanks guys, for having a sense of humor about it and keeping your post updated! :) I definitely made an embarrassing mistake but am very glad to have stumbled upon a community so willing to embrace and do good with it.

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  10. I love the official Red Cross response, very well handled with humour and good grace – an example to be followed by other companies I hope! Well done Red Cross!

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  26. I’m good friends with @Michael_Hayek who started the trend of reporting your Red Cross donation with the hashtag #gettingslizzard. He’s really on board with educating people about good beer and wine while keeping in mind that not everyone can! We’re constantly working on ways to have more fundraising events! You can read an article he wrote for us at CrossDrinker.com – http://www.crossdrinker.com/2011/wine/pairing-wine-and-seafood/ He knows his stuff! We’d love ideas!! Let me know!

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