Can you avoid an HR Twitter disaster?

by HCA18 Dec 2013

Social media is moving faster than some organisations can keep up with, and it’s vital that HR understand how to maintain control and mitigate damage.

The number one rule might be: “Before firing an employee, make sure they can’t access the official Twitter account.”

It’s a situation we already saw this year when HMV laid off almost 200 people, including the marketing team, who live-tweeted their dismissals.

This time it’s a smaller business, which means the backlash will likely have a bigger impact on their bottom line. The Plough Pub, in Oxfordshire, UK, fired their head chef this week, perhaps unaware that he ran the official @ploughpub account.

The first tweets weren’t too harmful, with @ploughpub posting “Merry Christmas everyone” and “We'd like to inform you that we've just fired our head chef.”

But the true motivation for the posts soon became clear as the chef posted a series claiming he was fired for asking for Christmas day off.

However, the final shot was aimed straight at the business’s customers as he accused the owners of buying their “Australian sirloins” and “New Zealand lamb” at local discount supermarket Asda.

He ended with a cheery “Happy Christmas everyone!”, however, the story doesn’t end there as chef Jim Knight posted on his personal Twitter account (@chefjimknight) that he has received a job offer because of the series of tweets.

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How does your organisation manage social media? What would you do to prevent this happening at your company?


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