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public relations
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How Social Media Marketing Can Head Off Controversy

July 15, 2017

I’ve definitely written about the topic of controversy in social media marketing before. But it is a topic that bears repeating on a fairly regular basis. That’s partly because backlash from social media influencers doesn’t only follow blindly insensitive remarks. It can also be the road of Hell that follows from good intentions.

One interesting example of this recently emerged after Vogue Magazine published a cover story on Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid, in which it described the couple’s fashion sense as being influenced by modern notions of gender fluidity. The message was clearly intended to be positive about the underlying concept, but it was received poorly by some readers who saw Vogue as mischaracterizing gender fluidity as something far less than it is in reality.

Fortunately for Vogue, the magazine’s social media marketing professionals seem to have handled the situation with aplomb, issuing a swift apology for the arguably clumsy tone of the article and engaging with their followers over the issue. Therefore, unless the controversy takes off in an unexpected way, the story actually stands to be a positive one about the ways in which social media marketing can manage and head-off controversies that might otherwise seriously threaten a brand.

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