Friday, December 12, 2008

Ford uses Twitter to avert PR disaster

I referenced Ford threatening enthusiasts the other day. When Ford took legal action against a fan Web site, the controversy soon spilled over into the blogosphere as automotive bloggers wondered what Ford's cease-and-desist letter meant to their operations. Ford's head of social media was able to keep a handle on the story by using a combination of Twitter and forum posting to reveal that the site in question was being accused of selling counterfeit auto parts.

Ford sent fansite (dedicated to lovers of their small pick-up trucks) a lawyer’s letter over copyright violations. This sent the dozens of other Ford fan sites, many of which use Ford branded names, into a tizzy over fears that they too would be asked to stop using Ford names in their URL’s and site materials. By the time the story surfaced on major car blogs like Jalopnik and Autoblog the story had been boiled down to Ford’s lawyers asking for $5,000 or the site gets shut down.

Ford’s Head of Social Media Scott Monty ( @scottmonty on Twitter) was keeping track of these developments. Monty was using Twitter to follow the brewing controversy and quickly began responding online. He was able to help Ford avert social media disaster by using Twitter effectively.

As a proud owner of two Ford vehicles, I'm glad to see Ford using social media effectively. It's seems there was quite a bit of miscommunication surrounding its request. On another note, it saddens me to see Congress deny U.S. auto manufacturers bailout funds.


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Ronald Coyle said...

Thanks for the feedback. You can follow me on Twitter as well at @ronaldcoyle.

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