Can PR result in too much of a good thing?

By Posted in - Blog & Crisis Communications & Public Relations & Social Media & Strategic Planning on August 21st, 2013 0 Comments

Try to wrap your brain around this one. Is there ever a chance your PR efforts can be too much of a good thing?

I’m guessing it doesn’t happen often – but what if a PR agency creates too much hype surrounding a brand, and the client can’t meet their audience’s demand? Essentially, the result is a PR agency being punished for an outstanding job by having to answer to upset customers. I’ve been intrigued by this idea after a recent mishap of one of my favorite brands, Lilly Pulitzer.

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Once a year the brand hosts its online ‘Endless Summer Sale,’ that for the second year in a row, should probably be deemed the ‘Ending Summer Sale.’ My inbox, newsfeed and targeted online ads have been flooded with reminders for the event over the past few weeks.

It’s safe to say the public relations team did an exceptional job. However, within five minutes of the sale launching, LillyPultizer.com crashed, and angry consumers were expressing their frustrations and disappointments on all of the brand’s social media channels.

Last year, Pulitzer offered additional discounts after the upset, but how do you react after a second incident? You’d the think company would be better prepared, but regardless the PR team must answer to prevent further issues.

Since the sale-crash on Monday, I’ve received several apologetic emails and Facebook and Twitter postings from Lilly Pulitzer apologizing for the technical issues. They’re making a diligent effort to retain all their loyal fans, but is this really enough?

I’d love to get your insight – How would you handle a public relations crisis such as this happening for a second time?

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