Posted on
August 21st, 2014

Greggs PR leaves a good taste in the mouth

Greggs has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, but it has managed to survive the bizarre incident with minimal loss of face and may even end up benefiting from the publicity.

Last Tuesday, the famous bakery chain had a rather unfortunate image associated with it when “Greggs” was searched for in Google. Rather than the official logo, an unofficial image from a Wikipedia parody site was visible with an offensive slogan.

The information on the right hand side of the usual search results is called the knowledge graph, which is a compilation of trusted information from sites such as Wikipedia and freebase. This is usually up to scratch, but on this occasion, Google had inadvertently pulled the logo from the parody site uncyclopedia.

When this happened, searchers took to twitter to quickly inform the company of the slip-up. Once the company found this out, rather than fly off the handle or demand action, a carefully thought out response was put together. Greggs got in touch with Google UK via their twitter account asking for it to be fixed in exchange for some of their doughnuts and included a hashtag which quickly started to trend.

In response to this, Google amended the search results and sent across an apology in a similarly light hearted fashion. Just a few minutes later, all was well again – with the offending picture removed and Greggs responding to the pile of customer tweets which had amassed.

The following tweets back and forth between Greggs and Google continued to remain light hearted, despite the possible damage caused to both brands. Even after the event when Greggs posted a picture of 25 sausage rolls spelling out Google, the search engine posted a reply of a nearly identical picture, but with crumbs in place of the sausage rolls.

This light hearted exchange, rapid correction and very public method of getting the messages to each other has gained the company’s a great deal of good press, with many proclaiming it as a master class in social media management.

There are numerous recorded gaffes when it comes to social media management, with these 19 examples coming from the first six months of 2014 alone. It just goes to show that these types of accounts shouldn’t be handled by an intern or dismissed as a fad, but they should be managed by those with the right experience to avoid causing excess damage.

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