Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PR Perspective: Should SIA have deleted the badly taken photos with Joseph Schooling?

Marketing Interactive today released an article discussing Singapore Airline's decision to delete several badly taken pictures of their tribute to Joseph Schooling from their social media platforms.
 
sia schooling deleted pictures
 
In short, the pictures did not accurately portray Singapore Airline's intention and where flamed by Netizens. The article sought the views of several social media consultants and they criticized SIA's decision to delete the pictures on the basis that: (a) whatever is put online cannot be taken back; (b) it has already been circulated so it is pointless to delete it; and (c) deleting it would only generate more interest.
 
While these points are valid and sound like good professional advise, they are misleading. This is because this advice deals with the here and now of the crisis and does not take into consideration the future impact the images will have on the SIA brand.
 
While deleting the images will generate interest, the temporary interest will allow Singapore Airlines the opportunity to clarify and get its side of the story out. And, even if the picture have already been circulated widely, keeping it on your own website only serves to continue to remind people (and new visitors to your site) about your mistake. This does not help in any way build the company's brand.
 
Thus, contrary to what the social media consultants on Marketing Interactive have weighed in to say, we at CW Fong & Associates believe that Singapore Airlines made the right decision to delete the unflattering pictures. The key lesson for the crisis communications practitioner is that managing a social media crisis is not only about the present, it is also about managing for the long impact on the company's brand.
 
 

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