Brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT!
Highlights: The blogger describes the sudden emergence of social media in 2009 and businesses eager to join in, and consultants showing up offering to help:
But amongst the good fellas who pioneered this new phenomenon, there was one douchebag called Steven Fritschling; a fraudulent guy who had used his skills to build a fishy online brand as a "Travel Strategist". Steven Frischling is to social media campaigns what burglars are to expensive art. Armed with the internet, and I must assume, loads of idle time(the current global job market offers an evil but creative mind some ample playground, especially if this idler has access to the internet), he would hop onto hundreds of airline websites in the "Contact Us" pages collecting email information. What followed next was an avalanche of social media consulting offers. He would search info about airline, pick some tips from Slideshare and package the half-baked ideas carefully as his own; offering road maps to a social media paradise.Apparently Frischling contacted an African airline (not identified but we believe to be Kenyan Airways) offering to run their social media services. Apparently he was ignored, and did not like this.
A few weeks passed by and then one day, we started noticing a new account impersonating our official airline Twitter account. It was Steven Frischling. He was simply searching for mentions of the airline on Twitter and then replying to conversations from passengers etc with misinformation. It was his way of taking revenge.Frischling then threatened to sue the airline for $1 million, saying the airline had ripped off all his ideas! Flight Africa posted screenshots of Twitter Direct Messages in which Frischling apparently offers to "help" with the fake Twitter account.
Of course we can't authenticate the screenshots, but what motive would Flight Africa have for making this all up? This person has nothing to gain by coming forward.
Most normal people cannot comprehend this behavior. My boss then, a great guy who was doing wonderful digital initiatives at the airline and who had taken a bold move to adopt social media at a time when it was anathema to most companies including airlines was shocked beyond words. In the corporate world of where people fancy doing things in an appropriate manner, Steven's antics are like a horror movie.They decided to ignore him because he had no claim.
Eventually we decided to simply ignore him and by the time I left, the airline's social media campaign was a shining example for others to follow. Steven the douchebag eventually gave up when he realized that his hope of netting $ 1 million from fraud was just a bad dream but not before giving one last kick. He published an article on Boarding Area in which he expounded on his claims of how the airline had used "his ideas" and how he had a paper trail etc.This is all vintage Frischling. It's not even shocking how he lists the airline on his resume, claiming he "Developed a total emerging media strategy for Kenya Airways." How deranged is that?
We don't know the guy's name, but thank you for coming forward with your story. This person has nothing to gain by telling this story publicly and it can't be tied to this blog/bitter brides/scheming ex-girlfriends, etc. What wild story will Frischling come up with that explains this all away?