Getting in Front of the Fire – Verizon

So it is February 3rd, and much like everyone else in this country, I have just finished watching the Super Bowl. As much as I love football, but in true marketer fashion, I’m mostly watching for the commercials and make a spectacle in tweeting about it alongside my peers.

Shortly after the Verizon First Responders commercial, I came across a retweet on my Twitter timeline and was actually set aback. See, anyone watching the commercial would have thought it was a heartfelt tribute done by the Wireless giant.

Here’s the commercial:

Heartwarming, right?

Well, check out this one tweet by Hamza Shaban:

Not so great now, is it?

See Verizon took a reactive PR strategy on their very big blunder during the California wildfires. In fact, they started building a campaign on first responders after they were called out throttling speeds and ultimately endangering the lives of many in a crucial time. They ultimately set themselves up to roll this campaign out on Super Bowl, when they would have guaranteed eyes on their commercial, in hopes that this would make it better.

Now, I’m not one to sit here and penalize a company until the end of time. However, Verizon has a pretty crappy history in how they treat first responders and this blunder would have not received the publicity it did had it not been for a lawsuit filed 22 attorney generals when trying to overturn the net neutrality rules to the FCC.

It’s usually better to be proactive when it comes to PR and Verizon had every opportunity to. Instead, they have been acting from a defensive position and consumers noticed it. Acting from a place of inauthenticity and trying to save your own bum doesn’t merit any points, especially when a company is simply promising to do what they were supposed to do in the first place.

So, I’ll just wait to see how this plays out and hope that for consumers sales, Verizon can keep their word.

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