Dear Mr/Ms Employer: can you guarantee that all your employees will show good sense when they use Twitter or other social media? No? Then you have a substantial PR and reputation risk. Like the Washington Redskins today. They won the game against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, 9-7, but apparently some fans at the end of the game weren’t happy with their performance, so they booed them as they left the field.
That ticked off one of the benchwarmers, a rookie linebacker, who tweeted after the game and told the fans what he thought of them. He didn’t stop there but when they engaged them insulted them several times telling them he made a lot more sitting on the bench that they did and asking what they knew about football with their 9 – 5 job at McDonalds. Youch.
Chris Chase on Yahoo Sports commented: This is why the NFL would love to ban its players from Tweeting. There’s almost nothing good that can come out of sharing your thoughts in 140-character doses, but there are plenty things that can go wrong.
What happens when an employee is dismissed? What are they going to say on Twitter or Facebook? What happens when there is juicy gossip going around the office about the nightlife of a senior exec? What happens when an employee gets into a fight with a key customer? What happens when a banker throws a party at a repossessed mansion in Malibu–and a party-goer tweets about it.
It’s the age of transparency alright for good and for bad. And one thing that is certain is that not all things that go on inside companies or people minds is good, but equally certain is that in this age alot of those things will come out and be exposed for all the world to see. The NFL might try and ban Twitter, but, the genie is out of the bottle and Pandora has escaped from the box. Now it is a matter for organizations to be vigilant and prepared to deal with the consequences.