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April 30, 2008

Someone in the king's court tries to trick

Burgerking It's not uncommon for people supporting a cause to get their message out using social media. Discussion boards, social networking groups and pages are easy enough to build and a great way to get the word out.

Companies and brands struggle with how to react to this type of new media. Some just ignore it as more "dot com" hype. Some see it as another advertising vehicle where they can blast their message out. The best companies understand it's about relationships and open, honest two-way communication.

Don't neglect open and honest. That means you are transparent and that you don't misrepresent who you are.

Apparently a VP at Burger King didn't get the message. In a dispute with a group that is trying to get fast food producers to boost the wages of farm workers, a VP accused the group of some shoddy accounting. Fine -- but what makes this really bad is that he took his message to the web using his own daughter as cover!

"Although Shannon Grover also uses the name surfxaholic36 - mostly on social networking sites - she said the anti-coalition posts are her father's alone.

I don't really know much about the coalition and Burger King stuff, she said, reached by phone at the family's Miramar home Friday. 'That was my dad. My dad used to go online with that name and write about them.

Last month, activist2008 sent an e-mail to The News-Press almost identical to many of the online postings signed Shawn Glass. The e-mail's Internet address showed it came from Burger King's corporate headquarters in Miami.News-press.com 

Really? He thought you'd get away with that? No matter how you feel about the agreement, these are shady tactics. Frankly, it really damages the credibility of what you're trying to communicate. It also shows that you're not too "web savvy" if you think you could do this and not get caught. - Paul Herring


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