Amazon Strips Reinstates Rank – PR advice on surviving a twitter barrage

Before twitter, this kind of catastrophe might have been a bad brand smudge that could be wiped out over time. But not now.

After checking out most of the Easter weekend, on Sunday night I dropped into to twitter to see what was going on. Well. lot and lots of action in the way of #amazonfail updates on twitter.

The cause? Amazon’s apparent decision to pull sales rank information on adult titles. Publishers Weekly quoted an Amazon spokesperson as saying there was no change in the policy, only a glitch in the system. Yet, one author traces his experience with a timeline and copies of correspondence from Amazon.

Today, Wall Street Journal reports on the amazonfail and confirms that a system glitch, was indeed, the cause for the uproar.

PR Advice How to Counteract a Twitter Barrage

- Admit that there’s a problem – immediately, both internally and externally

- Post a public apology on the home page

- Direct traffic to a blog site with updates on progress 

- Get some-body, a real live person on via video to issue a statement about what is going on

- Set up a site for feedback – yes, this is super scary – to let the complaints roll in

- Quote a spokesperson, in this case an author or two who can serve as the group’s FAQ voice

- Acknowledge that every customer counts, even if they’re not happy now

- Reach out to bloggers and offer interviews

- Make it right

- Monitor twitter continually and be responsive – step one for preventing a twitter barrage

- Interact on twitter, almost all of @amazon updates come from Perl Net::Twitter

- Be interested and personable, 100% promotional doesn’t build relationships, but it might close a few sales

Branding Advice for Amazon

Reach out to groups within groups, like adult book buyers, and give them their own store.

Carry the customer service responsiveness standard to all interactions.

What would you add?

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