Yesterday I wrote a story about how Pizza Hut is looking for a summer Twintern. Based on some of the verbiage in the story, namely a reference to the recent Domino's Pizza YouTube fiasco, I stated that I felt it in poor taste, a PR stunt and did little more than demonstrate Pizza Hut's lack of SM creds. I still maintain the timing of the announcement could have been better managed on Pizza Hut's part, but other than that... well read on.
Luckily for me, Chris Fuller of Pizza Hut does know a thing or two about social media, and specifically how to handle a blogger like me getting it wrong. Based on his comment on yesterday's post, I emailed him a few additional questions and emailed Stephanie @ the Times to gain confirmation to what Chris was telling me.
The long and short of it: Stephanie added two important pieces of copy that I and other bloggers fixated on and used to render our judgement. Specficially:
- I asked if she or Pizza Hut wrote/suggested the Domino's stuff and if the LOL/OMG and Twitter definitions were hers: Her reply:
> Yes, it was me that added that language. The story was a story - we
> weren't just running a Pizza Hut job posting verbatim, but using the
> format of a typical job posting to write the story. I wrote the story
> with a light touch, as you can see from "the applicant will speak fluent
OMG and LOL"
- She also offered (unsolicited by me) that...
the Twintern idea had been in development since well before the Domino's
Chris was good enough to send me the link to the original job post
So all of this to say, Pizza Hut, I screwed up. I jumped to a conclusion and should have offered you a chance to answer questions first. Instead, in an effort to jump a hot topic, stir it up a bit (yes I do that sort of thing here) and drive some traffic to my site, I posted.
And for all of you that visited yesterday (over 400 of you) and the many of you that tweeted or RT'd the story on Twitter, do me a favor. Do the same with today's post. I hate it when newspapers print retractions on page 12 in a 1x1 column space. It sucks for the brand. I got it wrong and hope you'll help me make sure that anyone who read yesterday's piece knows that... it's the right thing to do in my book and will only take you a second. In fact, look down a line or two-- see that "tweet it" link. Click it and you're done.
And to Chris, thanks again. I hope you'll take me up on my offer to interview you and your Twintern mid-way through the internship to see how it is going. Personally think the embedded journalism stuff you're talking about letting that intern do is very cool and a spot on use of social media, as I learned with my similar approach during my Mardi Gras tweets experiment. Or at least let me buy you and anyone else at Pizza Hut a beer the next time I'm in Dallas. We can talk about loud mouth bloggers and what a pain in the a$$ they can be for brands.
photo credit: by JillHannah