It’s no secret that Twitter campaigns can go terribly wrong. Just AskJPMorgan or the NYPD. The latest victim of Twitter trolls was the Florida State University Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, when FSU attempted to use the social network to host a Q&A.
Unfortunately for Winston, he became the butt of jokes and the #askJameis hashtag became a vehicle for spreading his shame. Apparently, Winston was accused of sexual assault, but it was his record for stealing $32 worth of crab legs from a local grocery store that earned him meme status.
Elliot Fineblook, FSU information director, told ESPN that he was expecting there to be some negativity, but the goal of the Q&A “was to continue to find ways to connect our fans and the players they support.”
The problem is that despite anticipating some negativity, the PR team at FSU failed to make a plan and actually connect with advocates who might drown out the ridicule. This is yet another example of someone hoping to jump on the social media bandwagon without really understanding the medium.
As our sister blog PRNewser put it: “We think a basic equation applies to such ‘give us your questions/feedback’ events: Imagine the worst possible case scenario and multiply it by two or three.”