Our #SocialCV plan for the trolls has worked

annaliseA stunt by PR agency Porter Novelli saw much mirth on Twitter last night when it attempted to use the social media platform to find a new staffer and saw the #SocialCV hashtag hijacked. But in this guest post, the agency’s boss Annalise Brown claims it was all part of the plan

Our recent recruitment drive on Twitter, and the media reaction to it, provides a case study for brands on the importance of understanding and managing social media trolls.

Brands having a presence online will, at some point, confront a troll. Anyone who uses social media on a day-to-day basis knows there will always be trolls. The important thing is to know how to manage them.

With any social media campaign, you’re opening yourself up for both quality engagement, as well as the not so relevant, as our #socialCV recruitment call out on Twitter has shown.

porter novelli logoPorter Novelli is approached every day by people eager to get into the PR industry, either proactively asking about any available positions or offering to work for free just to get their foot in the door. Our Twitter call out was designed to give graduates another way to get noticed, while also showing they understand the space we now work in.

Working in this space every day, we were expecting trolls to jump on #socialCV, and as with all our clients, we have a set escalation plan for dealing with them. In most cases trolls are simply ignored.

But beyond trolling itself, brands must also be aware that traditional media sometimes takes trolling out of context and over-emphasises their impact on campaigns. As such, trolling can result in negative media coverage, even when they have little to no impact on the desired campaign outcome.

Our campaign is working the way we intended. We have already seen some great examples come through and will be interviewing our preferred candidates next week.

Brand campaigns driven through social media are often misunderstood and referred to as stunts aimed at gaining attention – our recruitment call out is a case in point. It’s this old fashioned way of thinking that results in trolling being given more credence than it deserves.

It shows that we still have a long way to go in Australia before social media is woven into the business of communication.

  • Annalise Brown is managing partner  of Porter Novelli Sydney. Follow her on Twitter @AnnaliseBrown

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