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Social Media for Contractors and Online Brand Management


On Tuesday of this week, a crane on a commercial construction site in Middletown, CT tipped over.  Unlike other crane accidents in the last 18 months, no one was injured this time, including the driver.  Since there was no loss of life or serious injury and there's an election a week away, this accident didn't make too much of a splash in the news, but there was a blurb about it in the Hartford Courant.  As far as insurance ramifications go, there will be a General Liability to cover the hydraulic fluid leak and a contractor's equipment claim to repair the damaged crane.  However, after digging a little deeper into which contractor was responsible for the crane toppling, I discovered that various construction companies and crane operators in Connecticut were being anonymously thrown under the bus by various parties via social media commenting in the Middletown Press.  A few things worth noting about the commentary following the article (screen caps below).

1.  Since the article failed to name the crane contractor that owned the crane, several people with too much time on their hands decided to throw out some suggestions on who might be responsible based on their experience in the Connecticut construction landscape.

2.  Several social media savvy contractors (they do exist!) saw the negative comments about their companies, and did their best to set the record straight.

3.  Even though the crane operators who were responding that they had no equipment on the site and had nothing to do with the accident are now going to have their company name lumped into google whenever someone searches for "middletown crane accident".  Even though their only participation in this accident was to defend their company's good name online, they will now be part of that article forever. (google never forgets!)

4.  The general contractor on the site would do well to defend themselves in the comments.  As the comments go right now, rampant speculation and defamation are taking place and I doubt they have anyone at their company watching out for this type of thing.

5.  This could potentially effect the risk profile of all the Connecticut construction companies mentioned below.  Even though the negative comments are slander, pure and simple, an insurance company underwriter could view them as having some truth and consider that when they're pricing your account upon renewal.

Comments are below.  Make your own decisions on who won the argument and who looked like the contractor that lost the bid on this job.

middletown crane construction insurance


crane insurance connecticut

Apologies for the small pictures.  Full article is HERE if you want to read the comments without wearing binoculars.

Let me know what you think.  As the world gets more and more connected, contractors need to be mindful of what is being said about their company online and learn how to effectively handle criticism and crisis digitally without getting into a mud slinging contest with each other.

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