Companies around the world add a new page to the communications manual: How to respond when a raccoon scales your building, setting off a viral sensation that makes national news and has America holding its collective breath for a happy ending.
UBS remained mum on social media Tuesday as a raccoon climbed 25 floors on the exterior of UBS Plaza in downtown St. Paul, gaining national fame as it persisted in its trek.
Photos of the fearless raccoon hit Twitter shortly after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, gaining attention throughout the day and into the night, Twin Cities Buisiness reports.
More than three hours after animal control officials safely caged the raccoon atop the skyscraper, UBS tweeted: “Thanks for your concern for #mprraccoon and his adventurous climb of our office. We’re following his progress and doing all we can to ensure his return to safety.”
Critics think the company should have jumped in on the viral sensation sooner and that its Twitter response was weak.
“Unexpected events that gain national attention are opportunities not to be wasted,” says Kelly Olson, vice president of consumer brand strategy and experiential marketing for Kohnstamm Communications in St. Paul. “You can’t afford to play possum when gifted with a raccoon.”
Nicole Harrison of SocialNicole Digital in Minneapolis is more forgiving of UBS. Moments like yesterday’s are rare and can either harm or help companies, especially in situations where a possibly hurt or dying animal is involved. If UBS jumped in on the Twitter fun it could’ve backlashed, Harrison says.