McDonald’s caused a bit of a kerfuffle by inserting themselves into the horrific story of kidnap and torture from Cleveland. They sent this tweet out only a day after hero Charles Ramsey’s account of what happened during the rescue went viral around the world:

McDonalds wants in on this? I was so surprised I checked with PR News Online.  Here’s what they had to say:

With my own not-very-scientific review of comments on Twitter, it looked like public opinion was pretty squarely pro-McDonald’s; lots of analysts felt they’d made a serious blunder but consumers loved them for it.  And, surprise, I was delighted to learn that tweeters are now daring McDonald’s to do everything from put Mr. Ramsey in advertising to remodel his entire street. This unexpected lagniappe, the much-deserved support for homespun hero Charles Ramsey seems like a laser light show in an impossibly dark situation.

We help businesses be found with AgileBid, our automated pay-per-click management service, and unlike social media, our outcomes are pretty dependable. Many of our customers are experienced franchise owners providing janitorial or disaster restoration.  Across the country, they are early-to-the scene at places like fires, thefts and health care cleanups.  Of course connecting your social presence to your community is personal; just like individuals, only each business can decide when and where it’s appropriate to lend a voice.

On May 23rd McDonald’s announced that they’d ‘been in touch’, awarding Charles Ramsey free McDonald’s food for a year.  I felt vaguely disappointed, though I’m not sure why. I’m still ruminating, but maybe even if the timing of McDonald’s original tweet felt off, the opportunity to do good, to empower and elevate help make it understandable.