In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday, many took to social media to help locate loved ones and confirm safety, while brands spoke out, offering consoling thoughts along with offers of free services and aid to victims and locals affected by the attack — and then retreated to the sidelines, cancelling promoted tweets and Facebook status updates unless they could be of service.
In that vein, Google quickly developed a Boston version of its Person Finder tool, while JetBlue, Airbnb and other brands and businesses (big and small) that could help the distressed and stranded sprang into action. For some, like Adidas, sponsorship of the event led to an unfortunate juxtaposition with terror, as the brand's logo and "All In" tagline was featured at the finish line, and thus the front page of the Boston Globe.
Ford's head of social media, Scott Monty, tweeted some advice to brands for those unsure of how to respond—but sadly, with horrific events becoming more frequent these days, marketers are getting more adept at what to do (and more importantly, what not to do).
Monty highlights the sensitive situation faced by brands in the wake of tragedies, where in a moment's notice, a promotional message can turn into an insensitive gesture. It seems like the resounding advice is to offer support or go silent.
That advice should have come earlier to @epicurious, which was lambasted on Twitter for what its social media manager later acknowledged was insensitive.
brandchannel would like to recognize those brands that have stepped up to offer support to victims and those that have shown solidarity with residents and visitors who are still reeling from the incident. If you've seen or heard about a brand helping Boston, leave a comment or tweet us @brandchannelhub.
Even fierce sports rivalries were put aside: