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TheStreet Open House

10 Disastrous PR Moves by Companies

Detroit (expletive) City
So, you work for a firm that gets hired by Chrysler (DAI) to help build its social media presence.

If you read the newspapers, you may realize that the company had battled to stay alive, resorting to a government bailout to stay afloat. You should also be aware that the government loan riled up conservatives, despite supporters maintaining it was needed to save U.S. jobs, particularly in Michigan.

If you know anything about your big client, you might also know Chrysler had unveiled a series of dramatic commercials, some featuring rapper and Detroit native Eminem, to show the world that the hardworking character of that city's workforce should be a source of American Pride and optimism.

You should have known all that. Instead, an employee of New Media Strategies, a Virginia-based marketing firm retained by Chrysler, went on the company's Twitter feed, @ChryslerAutos, and posted: "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f***ing drive."

(In the tweet -- accidentally posted to the company site instead of a personal feed -- the expletive we censored was actually spelled out.)

Accidents happen and, really, the tweet was not that bad. But in the world of social media, never the company and personal should meet. Given the company's Detroit Pride message, the posting was even more of a wreck.

Fortunately, Chrysler shook aside the flurry of unwanted media attention.

The firm, however, lost the gig.

As for the staffer who made the mistake, last month he started work on the social media initiatives of another company -- this time Ford (F).

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