Bad Judgment Creates Twitter Crises

In the last month we’ve seen two really high profile mistweets. In fact, they occurred one right after the other in the same week. ┬áIn both cases, the tweets were apparently meant to be sent from personal accounts, but instead were sent from the corporate accounts.

In case you missed it, the first was from KitchenAidUSA. It was tweeted the night of the first presidential debate.

 

The second was from StubHub (pardon the language). You can read more about this situation here.

 

Of course KitchenAidUSA and StubHub aren’t the first corporate accounts to have this happen (remember Chrysler?). What really stood out to me about both these tweets was this:

If you’re a company that’s hired someone who would tweet EITHER of these tweets (even on a personal account), you’ve made a bad hiring decision. Both of these twitterers used unbelievably terrible judgment. These are not the kind of tweets that should be sent out ever on a social network. Ever. Much less by someone who “does” social media for a living. The first error in judgment was KitchenAid and StubHub not taking their respective social media seriously and ensuring the people in place to manage corporate channels had the skills, sense of strategy and maturity to do so.

The second error in judgment was, of course, on the part of the individuals managing those accounts.

I’ve mistweeted from client accounts before, it’s pretty easy to do (and pretty easy to avoid). In each case for me, the tweet was not relevant to that client’s audience or the kind of content typically shared on that platform. But they were not offensive. Guess why. Because I do not tweet offensive things.

The mistweet issue is certainly one that, if you’re helping manage a brand account, you have to pay attention to. But I think the bigger issue in the KitchenAidUSA and the StubHub case was that the individuals responsible for those accounts showed a complete lack of judgment and shouldn’t have been in a position of responsibility.

No, I’m not suggesting that you have to tweet like you’re a corporate brand, but everything you tweet is part of your personal brand. And that should be just as important to you as if you were tweeting on behalf of a client or an employer. It’s through your personal brand that you can demonstrate your expertise, your professionalism and your good judgment. And it’s because you bring expertise, professionalism and good judgment that you’ll be a valuable employee. One that doesn’t tweet something that results in your boss having to apologize to the President of the United States of America.

As usual, a Chipism sums it up… In an interview last week, Oregon Ducks Football Coach Chip Kelly said this about Twitter (after the Washington State coach banned his players from using it).

What do you think? How do you think about your own presence on social media and how does that relate to managing a company or client account? I’d love to hear your experience.

Get Well! Linky Love

Been a bit under the weather this week, but lucky for you there’s still lots of great stuff to share. Enjoy!

Popular Shoe Company Makes Most Offensive Egypt Tweet Yet (Business Insider): Kenneth Cole made a bad, bad choice with this tweet. It’s surprising. For a company who has a focus on social responsibility and human rights – at least that was my perception – this kind of thing makes all the previous good seem inauthentic. Lots of years of good undone in one tweet.

Sizing Us & Them, A Lesson in Transparency from Rich Becker: This post is a great read with some terrific insights about the idea of transparency. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot, so this post really resonated with some of my own ideas. It’s a little “heavier” than some of the linky love posts that I send your way, but if nothing else, take some time to read it.

My Tweets are My Own is a Bogus Line from Lauren Fernandez: Just because you include a disclaimer, that doesn’t mean that your online content doesn’t reflect back on your employers, academic institutions or even your teammates. Be intentional.

The 46 Stages of Twitter: A fun, tongue-in-cheek look at the adoption cycle on Twitter.

Ten Useful Hacks to Make Things Happen from Valeria Maltoni: Valeria has ten different dilemmas/problems that we can encounter in day-to-day work like, “you miss the big picture,” or “your idea doesn’t get done” and then ten ways to overcome those problems and get things done. Great advice.

Top Six Things to Know for an Interview: Great advice from a new blog by Porter Novelli specifically directed at PR interns and entry level folks. Don’t forget to do your homework!!

There’s No Such Thing as a Social Media Campaign from Adam Vincenzini: I couldn’t agree more.

Is Blogger Outreach the Missing Part of Your PR Plan from Scott Hepburn: I really like this post. I’ve had good success (and lots of fun) working with bloggers. Scott outlines how to make it work for you.

…and because we’re in week 5 and stress is running high, I thought you might enjoy these tips on turning around a bad day and making it a good day (and yes, you can respond to this for your weekly post, J452).

image by Amy the Nurse

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