Tuesday, December 30, 2014
PR without people can run amok. Consider this example from Facebook. An algorithm reprising the year continuously reminds a person of his dead daughter. Humans are fallible, more so than machines, and they can be unthinking and cruel, but a mistake like this might have been caught if there were human review instead of machine decision. Many steps in PR can be automated, but there still needs to be a human in the mix. The human's job is to catch the improbable before it is published and an organization like Facebook looks silly or worse, uncaring. There is no doubt that Facebook put in the year in review as a way to serve customers. The intent was good PR: The outcome was not. Facebook owes the person an apology.