Last Friday when you first learned about the catastrophic tsunami that washed away entire Japanese communities, I bet the morning conversation around your breakfast table or office water cooler was not “Hey Susie, did you hear that JCPenney is running a 20 percent off sale on shoes?” Or, “Mike, how about Groupon’s movie deal for Battle: Los Angeles?” Yet on Twitter and Facebook — the global switchboards where hundreds of millions of people were engaged in high-velocity conversations about the disaster in Japan — corporate America could not put down the sales sheet.
Like you, I follow dozens of my favorite people and companies on Twitter and Facebook. But reading urgent calls for disaster relief right alongside updates from companies pushing their products precisely during the boiling point of a global calamity left me, well, dumbfounded. On Friday, did corporate America flunk the main lesson of Social Media 101: Be human?
Not one tweet or Facebook status update from any of my favorite companies signaled that they were getting behind (if not financially or strategically, then at least empathetically) our friends in Japan. Or in “pocket book” terms, there was not one shout out of support from any company that I follow for the people who live in the fourth largest export market for the United States and the second largest investor in our economy.
Now, in times like this, I rush to find the silver lining. Wallowing in the despair is a waste of time (at least that is what Charlie Sheen believes and I’m not one to contradict a #WINNING celebrity), so I turned to Google News this morning and set up a few key words to find out which American companies were going to give me something to believe in.
My first search: “Organizations Helping Japan” turned up hundreds of links, but “Companies Helping Japan” turned up sparse results. My second search: “Non Profit Tsunami Relief” pulled up more 50,000 articles, but “Company Tsunami Relief” resulted in just a handful. At least I had a few leads. I continued with different key world combinations that resulted in much of the same, as did a few Boolean searches on Twitter.
Here is what I found.
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