Tag Archives: apologise

Is London Duck Tours headed for a watery grave?

29 Sep

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It’s been a good week for ducks. Or rather, it had been before London Duck Tours’ bus-boat caught on fire in the Thames this afternoon, leaving passengers to jump overboard.

Now I’ve seen those bus-boats poodling around the capital and I can’t say I’d jump at the chance to take a ride. While the brand might call this experience ‘fun, quirky and different’, I think it’s more ‘rusty, risky and darn scary’.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, it doesn’t matter what I have to say. But the truth is, London Duck Tours hasn’t said anything. No updates have been posted on Twitter, Facebook or the website. So by doing nothing, the business has exposed itself as unprofessional, unreliable and untrustworthy. Three traits nobody wants to mix with.

After a similar company had its water licence revoked last month, following a sinking in Liverpool, I’m starting to think that all the PR in the world couldn’t keep this brand’s reputation afloat.

However, if I was to pushed to come up with a strategy, this is what I’d do:

1. It’s too late to apologise
But London Duck Tours has got to do it anyway. This situation cannot get any better unless the business admits fault and takes full responsibility for the accident. This apology, directed at the brave passengers, needs to be sent to all the journalists and bloggers who have covered the story – along with details of who they can speak to for more information. Trust me, they’ll expect it.

2. The show’s over
I’d recommend cancelling all tours for the next few weeks. Certainly before customers cancel on the duck. Rather than attract attention by continuing business, and people waiting in the wings to shout about your next mistake, I’d use this time to rebuild trust with the public.

3. Buy new equipment
This is the time that City Cruises and Thames Clippers will be showing off their attributes, such as safety, so come back to your customers with a clear message: new equipment. Ideally London Duck Tours should also work with a VIP and take them out for a spin to attract interest.

Arranging a photo-call up and down the river, so everyone can see the duck is back, would be good but, better still, the team could brand the boat with a hashtag to track what people have to say about the re-launch.

After that, you’re on your own! What would you suggest for this sitting duck?

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It’s been a bad week for tweets

8 Apr

Remember that silly tweet you posted? It was so unlike you. That ‘blame it on the heat of the moment’ tweet? It’s going to get you in trouble. Why? Because it’s been a bad week for tweets and it’s only going to get worse:

First, Paris Brown, a 17-year old Youth Police Commissioner for Kent, is getting slammed for tweets she posted three years ago (and deleted this week) that celebrate drink, drugs and rock and roll – all illegal at her age. But, like many before her, she’s standing her ground and refusing to leave her £15,000 role which sees her bridge the gap between young people and the police.

Paris’ former Twitter profile – @vilulabelle – played home to a range of ill-fitting updates for someone of her position, which causes me to wonder if she’s on the right career path. That’s if the police is still home to institutional ‘isms’? But that’s another matter.

The moral of this story is, Twitter doesn’t define your past, but if your digital footprint isn’t clean, it might impact your future.

I’ve said it before – we need to place more emphasis on online security and etiquette. If we can hire people to tidy away our social media profiles and passwords when we pass away, why aren’t we teaching young people to clear up their act now?

We could start with the hundreds of people who are celebrating the poor death of the UK’s first female Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher. So, much so, Lord Alan Sugar has come out of his office to dub them ‘scum’.

After passing away yesterday morning from a stroke, it prompted lots of people to ‘have their say’ including one Oddbins Crouch End employee.

Someone did enough damage in 140-characters to get themselves suspended for encouraging consumers to celebrate the news with money off champagne. Not out of the ordinary for a wine shop, but enough to cause offence.

Now deleted, Oddbins’ management apologised for its poor taste and timing, and has speedily announced its got a disciplinary meeting date in the diary, with the person in question, to have words.

The moral of this story is to pull scheduled tweets during big breaking news stories and get approval on all updates plugging the gap.

So, be careful what you say. A little birdie might just show you for what you really are

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My Little Mistake…by Burger King

10 Mar

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I choose my blog posts carefully and there’s some battles I just don’t gallop into – like the horsemeat scandal. But, the time has come for me to comment on Burger King.

The fast-food franchise is continuing to launch its kids meal toy giveaway this month – a My Little Pony.

I’m in full support of people not having to apologise for every little thing they say and do which might cause offence (apart from Helen Flanagan – she simply doesn’t think), but there’s times when you have to change tactic to avoid rocking the boat – especially when it recently capsized.

BK was one of the first brands to get caught up in the horsemeat by pledging to switch suppliers as a precautionary measure before admitting some of its burgers had been contaminated. This made lots of people angry. Then the business got hacked on Twitter and we all had a good laugh. It worked because it gained followers.

But, is this Europe-wide promotion undoing its recovery strategy? I think so. Although there’s nothing online to say that the UK is taking part (Germany is cited on the website), it will look foolish. And to those that really take notice, I expect they’ll rip BK to pieces for its brash insensitivity.

To handle this situation, BK has two options:

1) Say nothing and take the (expected) ridicule
2) Make a joke of it and use it to their advantage

Personally, I’d vote for the latter every time. It’s a proactive opportunity to show that the business has a sense of humour and, although it’s a risk, it’s one that could come off with great results

Let’s wait to see if anything happens in the UK.

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