Don’t delete your account: Lessons from the Cincinnati Zoo’s retreat from cyberbullies

PRWeekSchwartz Media Strategies’ Partner Aaron Gordon responds to PR Week about the Cincinnati Zoo’s decision to take down its social media channels.

Despite months of cyberbullying, the Cincinnati Zoo didn’t help its cause by abandoning Twitter, say experts.

After three months of meme-driven cyberbullying over the death of Harambe the gorilla, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden threw in the towel on Monday and deactivated its Twitter account.

Experts say the zoo overreacted, and while stepping away from social media when emotions are running high is understandable, deleting an account can have dire consequences for a brand.

aaron-3Despite the internet fascination with Harambe’s death, the zoo has a business to run, and deleting a major element of its marketing and communications structure was “short-sighted and possibly detrimental,” concurs Aaron Gordon, partner at Schwartz Media Strategies.

“The zoo should have continued its regular posting, reported abusive content to the social media platforms, and launched a stronger gorilla-conservation campaign to build goodwill,” he adds.