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Mistakes happen.  Sure you can proofread and edit (and we should), but we are only mortal.  So what do you do when you make a mistake?  And not just any mistake, an epic publicly humiliating mistake over the Internet.  Not only accessible to anyone, but sent purposely to all followers.  Welcome to Twitter.

Nearly every day it seems there is another story about a company’s social media blunder. From Kenneth Cole capitalizing on the riots in Syria to the hijacking of the #McDstories, disasters on Twitter are all around.  What is a true show of character and integrity individually and in business is how we react to these mistakes.

One of the social media managers from the Red Cross accidentally tweeted from the organization’s account instead of their personal account.


Disastrous.  What was remarkable was the response to the tweet.  The mistake was caught early and Gloria Huang tweeted an explanation and an apology.


The Red Cross even joked about the tweet in later tweets.


By owning up to their mistake and handling it in a professional way, the Red Cross’ character is shown.

What I found even more impressive was that the Red Cross commented on a blog correcting the information that had been published.

I lead the PR effort for the Red Cross. Thanks for the mention in the post. We’ve certainly learned alot from the rogue tweet and hope others have been able to learn from our mistake as well.

Just as a small point of clarification, the indivudal who accidentially posted the rogue tweet-Gloria Huang-is a full time employee on our social media team. We don’t make a practice of giving interns access to our corporate social accounts.

Thanks for letting me clear that up!

The Red Cross was aware of the situation, and handled the problem with poise and honor, an excellent reflection on their own organization which handles national disasters on a daily basis.

So be careful when you are publishing anything online, especially when you are doing it under an organizations name.  Make sure that you are on the right account whenever you tweet!  It’s easier to fix a mistake before it is tweeted to all of your followers, than to clean up the disaster after!