Almost immediately after Google Buzz launched, people started raising privacy concerns ("F*ck You, Google"). But Google quickly responded with a series of fixes. So did the PR move work? Yup. Social media monitoring and analytics company Viralheat analyzed thousands of Tweets about Buzz, prior to the privacy hubbub and after:
Basically, Google managed to squash them before anyone wrapped their heads around the service—and the pretty vast privacy loophooles that existed up front with Buzz.
The graphic is basically a diagram of what any crisis-management team lusts after. The privacy flap itself seemed to get largely drowned out by the initial hype; once that hype died down, the lull in interest also muted the backlash. Thus, it seems not to have even registered before Google nipped the problem. And then after that, Buzz seems to have settled happily into overwhelmingly positive responses. Which goes to show you: When something goes wrong, act swiftly and comprehensively. Don't be Toyota.
Their mistake wasn't in handling the current crisis—it was already too late then. Rather, it was burying all the previous crises before, so that they all boiled over at once.