Pic of the bricks that fell from the wall during my dinner at a local restaurant.

The PR team at a local restaurant and those in their corporate office have a lot to smile about right now. They could be in the midst of a social media crisis.  But because I help clients work through such crises as part of my job, and they were pretty responsive to the situation, I decided to cut them a break.

Creating such a crisis and working to maintain its momentum takes a lot of work, and in my opinion requires strong emotions, of which I don’t have.

Yes, two bricks fell off the wall and hit me in the leg, while I was enjoying an appetizer with my daughters but I wasn’t seriously injured. I was more grateful that my daughters weren’t sitting in that spot, particularly my 7-year-old who could have really gotten hurt. Had that happened, there would have been a great deal of emotion and this story would be much different. But because I wasn’t overly-angry and felt that they were genuinely concerned, I opted to count my blessings and not cause much of a stir.

I did take a picture of the bricks and the area from which they’d fallen, and shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I did not tag the restaurant, nor did I insert its Twitter handle in the tweet, two critical elements when you want to get noticed and wreak a little havoc, which I’ve stated, was not my intent.

But here’s the problem. I was told by the Restaurant Manager and the General Manager that someone from the corporate office would follow up with me today. As of 11:29 p.m., that has not happened. This is a full 17 hours after it happened!

So, it makes me wonder if I should have handled this publicly. Had I done that, perhaps I would have gotten that phone call today. Both the shift manager and general manager said that someone would call and I was expecting that to happen. I was hit by two bricks unexpectedly, and I wanted to know that that meant something to the corporate office and that they cared. Sure they covered my meal, but it wasn’t about that. I went in prepared to pay for it and expected as much.

What I didn’t expect was the direct hit from the decorative bricks.

That leads me to this: Does the absolute worst have to happen in order for corporate to give a customer a follow up phone call? I think I deserved as much and they’re the ones who said it would happen. I didn’t demand to hear from corporate, and I bet it’s probably their policy, after completing an incident report, which is likely why I heard it twice.

I could make all kinds of assumptions and blast them across social media channels, in a really big way, but I won’t. I even removed all of the details I’d initially included in the post, that could potentially get readers a bit riled up, but again, that is not my point.

I’m offering up this story as a lesson. A lesson for any brand at risk of a social media crisis, which is essentially every single one.  Sometimes it may not be deserved, but oftentimes it is. And in many of those cases, you have no one but yourself to blame.

Here’s my advice to that local restaurant: Re-pave those bricks. The next customer may not be as sensitive to your potential PR and social media nightmare.

You can thank me later.

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