It started out as a campaign to promote the role the National Lottery plays in supporting British Athletics but it soon became a social media disaster.
Members of the public were asked to tweet @TNLUK using the hashtag #represent and in return they would receive a personalised thank you from a British athlete. What actually happened? Twitter trolls easily worked out the automated system set up by the National Lottery social media team and instead of sending a normal tweet, they instead sent offensive messages ranging from the Hillsborough disaster to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Of course the National Lottery were quick to apologise for the PR crisis but it should never have happened.
Here’s how to avoid such disasters:
Running campaigns such as the one done by the National Lottery are unique and innovative but make sure you do your research and set everything up properly before launching them.