DiGiorno’s Half-Baked Tweet

DiGiorno’s #whyIstayed tweet is one of the most embarrassing social media blunders we’ve seen.

In case you don’t follow DiGiorno, (I found the story on PR Daily) in the midst of the social media conversation about domestic violence surrounding the Ray Rice scandal through the #whyIstayed and #whyIleft hastags DiGiorno tweeted “#WhyIstayed there was pizza”.
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Of course, the tweet was immediately taken down and DiGiorno apologized. In what I believe is the least sincere apology they could have offered, DiGiorno tweeted “A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before tweeting.”

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I am not sure if they believed that people would believe this was a sincere apology. I certainly don’t believe it.

They responded and apologized more genuinely to personal tweets. But, at that point it was too little too late.

 

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DiGiorno is not the first company to make this unfortunate mistake. Which is why I think big companies like DiGiorno should avoid Twitter trends. Some of the best company tweets have not been in response to national conversations.

Arby’s tweet about Pharrell’s hat comes to mind. So I think big brands should avoid national Twitter trends and work to make a splash on Twitter in their own way.

Pharrell-Arbys-tweet
Do you think DiGiorno’s PR fumble will impact the number of pizzas they sell?

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9 Responses to DiGiorno’s Half-Baked Tweet

  1. Caelen Demos says:

    Wow, I cannot believe such a huge mistake was made at this level. This is where social media practitioners can play such an influential role for the company they represent. It makes me wonder if DiGiorno has a social media representative or if social media is just one task of someone on the marketing team. I would hope a well-known corporation like DiGiorno would have someone dedicated to social media, but based on this fumble, I would guess this isn’t the case.

  2. Nicole Barrett says:

    I think this public relations blunder will definitely impact the number of pizzas DiGiorno will sell. The question is whether any publicity will be good publicity. DiGiorno is already part of a very saturated market. With many different brands of frozen pizza, this could potentially help DiGiorno stand out to consumers and translate into more sales. However, I think the emotional impact of this tweet will cause more of the public to boycott DiGiorno as a brand because they were personally offended. I agree that brands should come up with their own campaigns and utilize their creative team, instead of relying on Twitter trends that they may not completely understand. With the proper amount of research before DiGiorno’s tweet, the situation could have been avoided completely.

  3. Bianca Repasi says:

    It never fails to surprise me how some companies can be so absent-minded when posting on social media. Of course, some situations are worse than others, such as the scandalous US Airways tweet a few months ago that really caused a huge controversy. Obviously, the person in charge of DiGiorno’s Twitter account didn’t take the time to actually investigate what the hashtag was referring to, so I don’t think they’ll be judged too harshly. I have a feeling sales won’t be affected too much either, but they have to be extremely careful from now on. This is such an important reminder to always be aware of what you post on social media because you never know who will see it.

  4. Sepeedeh Hashemian says:

    Sophia,

    This is such a huge blunder! I find it ridiculous that the person in charge of DiGiorno’s official Twitter page would comfortably use a hashtag without educating themselves on what it is first.

    This blunder will probably cost them because it shows a lack of sensitivity and ignorance with regards to domestic violence. But I do think that it was a good crisis management move for them to individually tweet apologies after they gave a not-so-sincere apology.

    Great post!

    Sepeedeh

  5. Gretchen Burnton says:

    Sophia, I think it’s interesting that you say that companies should avoid national Twitter trends. While I think DiGiorno definitely missed the mark with their tweet, I don’t think this means that all companies should refrain from jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. In fact, Arby’s was praised for their Twitter comment in certain publications: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/arbys-slayed-grammys-tweet-about-pharrell-williams-hat-155237

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/03/03/celebrity-auction-pharrell-williams-hat/5967493/

    http://simplymeasured.com/blog/2014/03/05/measuring-the-impact-of-one-perfect-tweet-arbys-case-study/

    Arby’s tweet doesn’t seem like an “unfortunate” mistake to me.

    I think following Twitter trends can be hugely positive for companies, as long as they research the trend ahead of time and actually contribute something that the public wants to hear. If they’re creative and witty, the public will surely respond in a positive way.

    I think companies are able to reveal more of their personality to the public by jumping onto these Twitter trends. I know that Netflix has a good Twitter personality and their jumping onto Twitter trends is generally welcomed.

  6. Victoria Ivankic says:

    As much as this mistake received national attention, I don’t believe DiGiorno’s pizza sales will be impacted because of it. Domestic violence is obviously a very serious and emotional issue, especially surrounding the recent news of Ray Rice, and should be approached with caution. However, DiGiorno making the “you had pizza” comment to the #WhyIStayed hashtag was an honest mistake. Trending topics on Twitter only consist of a hashtag and a few characters, not a whole backstory. The person tweeting on DiGiorno’s behalf at the time was probably just trying to stay relevant to the trending topics of the moment, not excuse domestic violence by any means.

    Going forward, DiGiorno will definitely be more careful about what they post, as should any company or individual, but I think this mistake should be forgiven. They apologized, honestly explained that it was a mistake and suggested researching next time. What’s done is done and should simply be regarded as a learning experience.

  7. Lindsey De la Torre says:

    Sophia,

    While this seems like a huge deal, I don’t think it will affect their sales whatsoever. Mistakes like this happen a lot more than people realize. Most commonly, the person in charge of the social media will retweet, post or associate themselves with something by total mistake, such as this situation, and nothing will happen. In some cases, this won’t even affect the employee’s job because it had such a small impact, but in other cases it can be quite detrimental to the company as well as the employee who made the mistake.

    DiGiorno clearly made an honest mistake and while it was not the smartest thing, I think their customers will forgive them.

    One issue I did have with the situation is the way they handled the apology. I think it was rushed and not well thought out. They should have waited longer and come up with a better and more strategic apology so they wouldn’t have to call attention to the incident twice.

    Great job!

    Lindsey

  8. Sophia Mayberry says:

    Gretchen: I said the Arby’s tweet was an example of what companies SHOULD do. There was no trend Arby’s was following, they simply tweeted that tweet alone during the award show. The difference is that DiGiorno responded to a hashtag instead of coming up with their own idea like Arby’s did. So to be clear, I was praising Arby’s.

    Victoria: I agree with you. When I am buying frozen pizza I am looking for cheapness not brand. I do agree with Nicole however, that DiGiorno will be in trouble if a boycott is called.

  9. Jessica Zook says:

    I don’t think DiGiorno’s mistake will impact their sales much, if at all. I think many people who aren’t necessarily on Twitter frequently had no idea that they tweeted that or knew that it was inappropriate. I think it makes them look bad, but when I’m in the store picking out a pizza, I’m not going to be thinking about what they tweeted before I buy food.

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