Ever heard the saying "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? When was the last time you said this to one of your children? As an adult do you live by this rule?
In the event that you haven't heard – Horizon Realty Group Management in Chicago is suing a former resident for $50,000 over a tweet complaining about mold.
After the recent chain of events, and the subsequent twitter uproar I find myself between a rock and hard place. A small part of me wanted to jump in all the drama, voice my opinions, as others have said "un-freaking believable".
On the other hand, I felt like a deer in the headlights, thinking to myself "someone should do something! Why can't it be me?". I'm fairly versed in the social media world. I've seen drama come and go, I've seen large brands like United Airlines get flamed and then publicly apologize. I wanted to jump in the fire and say, "come on people, stop being vultures and get back to your life. Imagine how you would feel if one person, as a representative of your company said one unforgivable sentence that sent your brand up in flames".
On my lunch break, I went to my apartment to speak with my property manager about my impending move. I gave her a quick rundown of the story and her response was shock and empathy for Horizon. I didn't give her all of the social media details, nor is she a big social media participant. I found it interesting as one multifamily professional speaking of another she had empathy rather than blame.
So this makes me wonder, where was the multifamily industry on this issue? Could this (can it still?) have been the perfect opportunity to bring forth the issues of resident defamation of the apartment industry? I'm not saying we need an army behind Horizon saying, "we support your sue first, ask later policy." But why not stand together as an industry in support of our multiFAMILY unit?
Horizon is receiving phone calls and hate mail in addition to the explosion of chatter on Twitter and various review sites. How can we use this as a teaching tool for all multifamily businesses to develop a social media plan both for marketing and also damage control in the event something else like this occurs again. How would you react if this was a sister property?
So what lessons have we learned:
Horizon Realty Responds to Lawsuit Twitter Controversy
What the Horizon Realty Fail Can Teach You About Social Media
Social PR Crisis and Response: How Horizon Group Management Might Yet Save the Day