Three PR Takeaways from Snapsaved, Snapchat Photo Leak

Photo by  Maurizio Pesce (

Photo by Maurizio Pesce (

On Oct. 11, 2014, addressed users via Facebook regarding a photo leak. The company, which owns snapsave, an app used to save Snapchat’s, admitted that was in fact hacked, but confirmed that Snapchat was not. Whether you’re one of Snapchat’s 100 million monthly active users or not, this breach is not the first of it’s kind and certainly won’t be the last.

Here are three PR crisis communications lessons that we can learn from the photo leak:

1. Respond quickly

Snapchat responded to news of the breach quickly. The company sent tweets assuring users that their servers were never breached. Even though Snapchat may not have had the full story right away, they responded with the information they had at the time, and that’s important. waited a little longer to respond but took full responsibility. also announced that they deleted their entire database upon discovering the breach. During a crisis, companies must not only inform the public of what happened, but also share what they’re doing to fix it.

2. Be sincere’s Facebook post reads, “I sincerely apologize on the behalf of we never wished for this to happen. We did not wish to cause Snapchat or their users any harm, we only wished to provide a unique service.” This move seems sincere and shows that the company is willing to take responsibility.

3. Create a strategy and follow through

How companies respond off the bat is one thing. How companies continue to respond months after the incident is equally important. Even though Snapchat cautioned using third-party apps it does not have the ability to fully block third-party apps, and therefore faces the possibility of a similar breach again.

The purpose of public relations in a crisis like this is to end the negative publicity. Although Snapchat was not breached, their name is still out there. Do you think Snapchat should have responded differently? What could done differently?

Sources: “Confirmed: Snapsaved Hack Led to Snapchat Photo Leak”


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