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HMV Boss: How Do I Shut Down Twitter?

31 01 2013

A departing communications staff member at HMV scored a social media first when he or she began live tweeting from what was described as a mass firing of 60 employees.  The first tweet to appear said. “We’re tweeting live from HR where we’re all being fired. Exciting!!  #hmvXFactorFiring”.

The tweets kept coming for a full 15 minutes before the Marketing Director apparently discovered what was happening was alleged to have been overheard saying “how do I shut down Twitter?”  According to the live feed the Marketing Director is not one of those at risk of redundancy.  Clearly the organisation hadn’t considered the social media risks when they called the comms team down to the HR department.  The tweet stream gave a clue as to the level of senior involvement in social media when it referred to the fact that HMV had used an intern to set up the account.

The tweets then stopped abruptly and were erased from the account – apparently the Marketing Direct found out how to shut the channel down.   Business closures are never very pleasant and I hope the HR team and the remaining senior management see the rebel tweets for what they were which was a gallant last stand by employees loyal to the brand.  Anything else would be another PR disaster for the brand and any going concern that survives the cull.

For those of you that missed them here are the tweets in full before they vanished into the ether.

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The Future Now at Insight Thirteen

22 01 2013

If you want to see into the near future you are unlikely to have a better chance than at the Insight Thirteen one-day seminar in Manchester this Friday (25th January).  It”s a day of looking forward to the likely developments in PR, Digital, Design, Search Marketing, Advertising, Corporate Communications and Social Media.

The Insight seminars are the real deal.  The organisers ‘Don’t Panic’ did their first conference on PR and social media in 2006 – that’s the same year Twitter first appeared – so they know about the future.  I was flattered too be asked to Insight Twelve last year.   It was  a stimulating experience, amongst the many insights were predictions on the online threat to personal privacy, the rise of non-broadcast video and domestic 3D printing.

The line-up this year is as good as ever: Stephen Waddington, European digital and social media director at Ketchum, Nicky Unsworth, MD of  the the UK’s most awarded ad agency outside London, BJL and Dawn Holmes, Head of Business Intelligence, Brother UK will all be speaking.    The Insight events are unusual in that they are difficult to categorise but I can sum up my perspective in three words. You should go.








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