BlogWell Cincinnatti Social Media Case Study: Graco, presented by Kelly Voelker


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In her BlogWell Cincinnati case study presentation, "Social Media's Role in Product Recalls," Graco's Brand Manager, Kelly Voelker, shares how they're using social media to inform customers during product recalls.

Kelly explained how they pro-actively shared their message to customers with specific communication on their blog, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated Web Page.


BlogWell is the only conference where social media executives from big brands come together to share their case studies, offer practical how-to advice, and answer your questions.

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BlogWell is produced by GasPedal and the Social Media Business Council.

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  • A product recall, especially when a child is involved, is an extremely heated and emotional topic; timing was right after Maclaren so there was additional media attention Announcement was at the same time as Dorel – where deaths were involved, which does even more to frighten parents Unlike Maclaren, NOT all Graco strollers were involved in the announcement, so we expected people would be confused and concerned.
  • Traditionally, companies tend to take a “duck and cover” kind of approach, but we wanted to get out with our message early and be transparent about the issue Proactive with our information, available around the clock to answer questions and point people in the right direction
  • Proactive search for people who were upset that the web site was down or couldn’t get through to call center. Pointed them to resources. Importance of working with customer service up front and involving them in the process – looped in with the head of CS Permission to solve consumer complaints as an extension of customer service Handle each consumer individually – some just need to vent, others will demand a refund Graco has been in sm space for several years – wont happen overnight
  • Here is a specific example of one consumer we dealt with pretty extensively Posted videos to our Facebook page, responding to other consumers on Facebook, sending Tweets to the Chicago Sun Times
  • We realize things won’t always turn out this way – but in this case, we were able to turn this customer around We were able to elevate the issue within customer service Example of the community going to bat for us
  • While the vast majority of the coverage we saw was neutral or negative (a lot of bad news out there) we were able to get a few positive articles By 1:00 PM – the CSM article was the #1 search result for “Graco Stroller Recall”
  • Our legal team is fantastic – they really understand SM and the urgency around it Keep execs in the loop so there are no surprises through daily (or more often) check ins and EOD updates Involve international teams immediately – translations, separate messaging and strategy takes time
  • BlogWell Cincinnatti Social Media Case Study: Graco, presented by Kelly Voelker

    1. 2. Social Media’s Role in Issue Management Blogwell Cincinnati April 7, 2010 Kelly Voelker PR & Social Media Manager @gracobaby @gracoKelly
    2. 3. 7:00 a.m. January 20, 2010 <ul><li>1.5 million strollers worldwide; seven injuries reported </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread media coverage in nearly every major national outlet </li></ul><ul><li>Very specific design & model = mass confusion </li></ul>
    3. 4. 6:59 a.m. January 20, 2010 <ul><li>Graco went live with proactive, specific communication through the Graco blog, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook & dedicated Web page </li></ul><ul><li>Reached out to influencers to help spread the word </li></ul>Doubled our monthly traffic in five days 3000+ tweets in 9 hours Site traffic +10X
    4. 5. Dealing with negative feedback <ul><li>Get ahead of the news </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proactively search for and respond to conversations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work closely with customer service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare the team in advance and loop in with most senior person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flag negative feedback in real time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deal with concerns on a case-by-case basis and get permission to act </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Start building a relationship before a problem exists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There will be times when the community will chime in – give them something positive to say </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If it’s something the community can benefit from, try to start in public; if not -- take it offline </li></ul>
    5. 6. One example: Michelle “ Fix it or I’m taking it to YouTube to show everyone what your products are really like.”
    6. 7. A turnaround “ I will ALWAYS continue to buy and use Graco products thanks to the way this was handled.”
    7. 8. And a little positive news
    8. 9. What we learned <ul><li>Legal Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Become a legal go-to inside your organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare messages in advance (both word-for-word & message “types”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your legal team understands social media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Executive Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Held twice-daily calls leading up to and for the week following with top company leadership worldwide </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sent daily e-mail updates on coverage, red flags </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Global Integration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarify the meaning of a recall outside of the US </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat all consumers the same </li></ul></ul>
    9. 10. Kelly Voelker – Graco Children’s Products @gracobaby · @gracoKelly [email_address] THANK YOU