Montreal Gazette Slams Price, Twitter Fans Come to Rescue
One of the fantastic things about social media and the internet is how absolutely fast and interactive it has become. It is truly a minute-to-minute conversation, and often even faster than that.
A great example of this occurred just following the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Now, being a Habs fan, I was watching the game of course. And, I was as disappointed as anyone when the Canadiens managed to squander a 2-0 lead in the last few minutes of the game.
However, it was quite obvious that neither of the Buffalo goals scored in regulation time were remotely close to being the fault of Carey Price.
But, that’s not what the Montreal Gazette would have you believe! I know that headlines sell papers etc. , but following the game a ghastly headline topped an article about the Canadiens’ loss.
“Price Blows It For Habs In Buffalo”
What happened in the next few minutes on Twitter was one of the finest and quickest examples of Social Media influence as well as engagement and ownership by a brand that I have witnessed.
As we can see in the screenshot below, Canadiens fans immediately found the headline unacceptable. And, within minutes, an employee of the Montreal Gazette agreed.
(@habsinsideout1 is Dave Stubbs, a Columnist/sports feature writer with the Montreal Gazette and habsinsideout.com)
At the same time that this conversation was going on, the headline on the Montreal Gazette website was changed.
The new headline doesn’t implicate Carey Price any longer and only identifies that the Canadiens gave up a lead late in the game.
Of course, on the internet there is always a trail of evidence! That said, even with a new headline, the article URL still identifies remnants of the original.
Of course, this type of social media backlash is not new, nor is it infrequent in this day and age. But, this is one of the first times I have witnessed it first hand.
What resonated with me, more than anything, was the ownership that Dave Stubbs took in agreeing that the Gazette had made an error. It’s fine to make an error, people make mistakes. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Pat Hickey didn’t even write the headline.
What would fans’ reaction have been if Dave didn’t take ownership and remedy the situation?
Granted, this isn’t a huge crisis issue (although some in Montreal would beg to differ) but I think it’s a great example of how being engaged in social media can help a brand intercept and diffuse even the smallest of issues before they have a chance to snowball.
What do you think?
P.S- If you notice, I made an error in the URL of this article. How fitting.
Update: Given the nature of this post, it is only fitting that I update it with Dave Stubbs final tweet on the subject. Great job Dave!
Update: from Kyle Roussel of Cowhide and Rubber
I can’t help but feel like somewhere, some editor is giggling, excited that their trash headline generated all kinds of clicks, which that person will then trot in front of their boss, who will nod approvingly and in turn prop that up as proof to potential advertisers that people actually do read the Gazette website.