Social media to ice cream social invite

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Social media can be filled with landmines, and one misstep can create an obstacle. But Dippin’ Dots — the company behind those flash-frozen ice cream pellets — showed how to handle a potential crisis and come out looking cool.

Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, has made disparaging remarks about the “ice cream of the future” for several years. He’s mocked the company slogan, pointed to negative news and expressed outrage when the baseball stadium ran out of his favorite flavor: vanilla.

Old news, right? These days, however, nothing ever truly goes away. Soon after Spicer took the White House press room podium, online watchers dug up his previous tweets and reignited the issue into a trending topic.

Dippin’ Dots responded with an open letter — shared on social media, naturally. CEO Scott Fischer noted the commonalities between the “hard-working Americans in the heartland” who make the product and those who put Spicer’s boss in the White House. “We’re creating jobs and opportunities. We hear that’s on your agenda, too.”

The company also offered to treat the White House and press corps to an ice cream social — and promised to have an ample supply of Spicer’s favorite flavors. The result: While no pelletized ice cream is on the White House menu yet, Dippin’ Dots did garner pretty awesome press coverage in media that it likely hasn’t been featured in before: CNN, NPR and The Washington Post, to name a few.

So what’s to be learned here? One: no matter how tangential, a brand must respond. Two: Be prepared to handle long-ago criticism when it resurfaces at the drop of a hat. It’s a media strategy worth mimicking.

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