Social Media Success Story: How the TSA defended its reputation — Neil Bonner

On Thursday night, a popular “mommy blogger” who goes by the name “Nic”, started posting to her Twitter account about her terrifying experience at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Friday on her blog “My Bottles Up” she claimed that, TSA agents took her son.

Due to the reputation-based nature of Twitter and blogs, her story spread like wildfire on Twitter and in the blogosphere.

For most organizations, this would amount to a major public relations disaster. However, for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) they had prepared for this type of challenge. Former TSA Administrator Kip Hawley had asked for a blog so that the agency could get “its side of the story out” without having to use the traditional methods of press releases and media interviews. So, in January 2008 TSA launched its blog with a great deal of skepticism from the public and media.