The dog’s twitter failure – a lesson in crisis management

The dog’s twitter failure – a lesson in crisis management

Posted by Torben Rick | April 7, 2013 | Social Media
The dog’s twitter failure

Don’t fire employees and leave them in charge of the corporate twitter account

HMV has fallen in tough times and had to make some of its staff redundant . As you’d expect, the employees being made redundant didn’t appreciate this and those who had access to the company’s Twitter account and voiced their anger about being made redundant.

HMV’s official and verified Twitter account sent out the following tweet:

We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired! Exciting!! #hmvXFactorFiring

This tweet went viral with over 1,300 retweets in 30 minutes and was followed by 7 others, which told the world what was happening behind closed doors:

The dogs twitter failure - a lesson in crisis management

What seems shocking is that HMV didn’t realize ahead of time that it had left the power of its social media accounts in the hands of a young woman it was letting go.

One of the most entertaining tweets that came through before HMV took back the account and deleted the offending tweets:

Just overheard our marketing director (he’s staying, folks) ask ‘How do I shut down Twitter?

What can we learn

Don’t fire employees and leave them in charge of the corporate twitter account.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Blog Comments

This is a ‘crisis’ of the company’s own making. The comment about the Marketing Director’s lack of understanding of Twitter is telling, an goes beyond ‘crisis management’ – part of HMV’s problem is that it never took to the online world particularly well, and in the Marketing Director’s comment we see the likely perpetuation of that situation. The misuse of the Twitter account is indeed unfortunate for the company, but a root cause analysis would focus on those who are left behind and the judgment of those under pressure who decided whom was to stay and whom was to go.

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