Crisis: It Can Happen to Anyone. Take Burger King, For Example!

Contributed by Rachel Vick

We saw a prime example today of the need for big brand crisis communication. That’s right; Burger King was hacked on Twitter earlier this morning. Nothing like an Internet hacking to threaten a company’s reputation and put them directly in the spotlight!

Burger King’s hackers tweeted around 11:00 am that Burger King had been sold to McDonald’s. Burger King’s Twitter profile was also changed, including the profile photo (which was changed to the McDonald’s logo) and company information, which stated: “Just got sold to McDonald’s because the whopper flopped.”

The hackers continued to tweet for about an hour with obscene statements and false accusations, such as promoting drugs and gangs. Statements also referred to the company’s beef being contaminated.

People all over social media made jokes out of the situation, tweeting things such as “Whopper123 isn’t a secure password” and “I bet Ronald McDonald is behind this.” Another popular post was “We’re guessing the @BurgerKing social media team is having a bad day…”

A bad day? How about a nightmare! Although the account was suspended within about an hour after the hacking, the posts were still viral, and people around the world are sharing screenshots of the posts. It will be interesting to see how Burger King handles the situation over the next few days. What do you think their first steps should be?

According to USA Today, Twitter had earlier reported that 250,000 account passwords had been compromised by hackers. When’s the last time you changed your password and updated your communications crisis plan? Something like this could happen to anyone, including you, and you must be prepared!

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