2016 saw the deaths of many public figures and celebrities—most recently, George Michael, William Christopher, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.
It will also be remembered by PR pros as another year when brand managers have unwisely decided to add to the conversation online, prompting swift backlash.
On Dec. 27—the day of Fisher’s death—a tweet emerged from Cinnabon, which stood among the many Twitter tributes to the late actress, who played Princess Leia in “Star Wars”:
— Michael George (@mgeorge4NY) December 27, 2016
Cinnabon’s social media team—which had referenced Princess Leia’s iconic hair buns several times in the past—quickly deleted its tweet and posted an apology:
Our deleted tweet was genuinely meant as a tribute, but we shouldn’t have posted it. We are truly sorry.
— Cinnabon (@Cinnabon) December 28, 2016