Lack of Social Media Strategy Hurts Eurostar in a Crisis

Eurostar has been forced to adapt its social media presence from marketing to crisis communications as the frustration of customers hit by the December 2009 massive delays played out visibly on Twitter and Facebook. More than 2,000 people were trapped in the Channel Tunnel on a Friday night after five trains broke down due to temperature variations, with some stuck on trains for up to 16 hours. Many complained about the lack of information and supplies such food and toilet paper, while the heat and close conditions led some to force open doors to get more air to breathe.

The Twitter handle ‘eurostar‘ turns out not to be related to the company, and the account it does own is called ‘little_break‘ because it is linked to its marketing campaign ‘Little break, big difference’. ¬†Hiloariously, the account’s bio reads: “Official Eurostar Twitter feed. Not Eurostar customer service but trying to help get information out to our customers as received. Thanks for understanding.”

Eurostar sales and marketing director Emma Harris, it is worth noting, reacted to Eurostar having to run less than full service for five months after a September 2008 fire in the Channel Tunnel by suspending marketing–a decision she later acknowledged may not have been right with hindsight.

Read more details in this post at Brand Republic.