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#NYPDFail - Social Media Marketing Goes Terribly Wrong

  |  April 23, 2014   |  Comments

An New York Police Department social media campaign that asked New Yorkers to tweet photos of themselves with officers has backfired.

Social media marketing can do wonders for your company. When done right, it can attract an abundance of new business, as well as drive repeat business. But what happens when it's done wrong? The New York Police Department (NYPD) definitely found that out yesterday when a Twitter campaign aimed at creating engagement with New Yorkers backfired.

@NYPDnews posted a tweet asking followers whether they had a photo with a member of the police department and if so, to tweet it with the hashtag #myNYPD. Attached to the tweet was a feel-good image of a man hugging two uniformed officers in winter.


When the post first went out, a few users started replying with cozy photos posing next to NYPD officers. It was social media marketing doing swimmingly well for a while. See below:




And this:

nypdimage4But then the "gone wrong" happened. All of a sudden the posts took a turn for the worst and the #myNYPD hashtag began being filled up with photos of police officers fighting with citizens, like this:




And this:


At the time of publishing this story, the hashtag #myNYPD had risen to the top 10 shared by Twitter users. Even people outside New York have started ridiculing the NYPD's campaign.


In response to the debacle, NYPD spokeswoman and deputy chief Kim Royster said in a statement that the police department "is creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community," and cited Twitter as an "open forum for an uncensored exchange." Brave comments, ma'am.

So what do you think of the NYPD's Twitter campaign? One thing's for sure - it may not have been the response that they were looking for, but it's definitely a way to get people talking about them! Let us know what you think.


Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

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