Nestle’ attack from Greenpeace members :
Apparently the FMCG brand Nestle has been under attack from Greenpeace. The source of the environmental activist’s ire was over Nestle’s palm oil sourcing activities – activities that Greenpeace says palm hurts the habitats of endangered species, specifically Orangutans. A brand like Nestle which has weathered many corporate crises and protests over the decades of its existence was caught off guard this time by the viral and social media elements to the campaign – which played out in full view of the social world in real time.
Nestle team failed to handled the whole crisis in right fashion. The crisis started with Greenpeace launched a new video campaign targeting Nestle about its activities. Nestle then tried to have the video removed from YouTube claimed by Greenpeace in their Blog which made Greenpeace supporters to move their protests to Nestle’s Facebook page. Nestle’s team was painfully absent when its wall was attacked on march 19th, and the result was a ugly thrashing of the brand Nestle that lasted not only hours but days.
Nestle again gave a lukewarm response:
we welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic – they will be deleted”.
Apparently Greenpeace had launched a well designed social media campaign by attacking the Nestle Facebook page with altered version of the company’s logo
Nestle has since back peddled with apologies:
“This (deleting logos) was one in a series of mistakes for which I would like to apologise. And for being rude. We’ve stopped deleting posts, and I have stopped being rude”.
- Be there. You can’t gain control of the situation if you aren’t there, monitoring and ready to take action.
- Introduce yourself. Put a face, name and role to your official presence. Don’t just reply from behind a faceless corporate identity and avatar. Eg. Scott Monty for Ford
- Make a point to welcome the comments. Commenting after long intervals will not help. Be there constantly. Be cordial & professional, and write only what is factual. Don’t loose your focus form the main issue but at the same time address any false claim around your brand/product or organisation, provide factual insights/ information.
- Think of a plan to move your conversations from the wall page to some other area where they can have discussion. Normally when you face crisis it comes with many facets like in Nestel case they faces complaints related to Preserving Borneo’s rain forests, Saving Oranguntans, health impact of palm oil in candy bars, Baby Formula etc. If company can move it (not all but a major chunk) to different section and turn it into specific discussion threads it will help to control in two says – a) people will see post from company asking advice and suggestions on the specific topic and will appreciate positive response to that issue & b) Will help recruiter detractors in fixing the issue they are angry with.
- Post when the issue has started dying out consider creating a specific category, tab, or even separate microsite to (in case of Nestle may be focusing on sustainable and responsible environmental etc ) show some solid response that it deserves. Eg. Starbucks’ My Starbucks Idea, Dell ideastorm