To Tweet or not to Tweet?

Amongst all the clamour extolling the numerous marketing values to Twitter, this morning I came across a sage example of when it can rather spectacularly backfire.

Last week’s newsletter displayed a lead story on the subject of Twitter: a Marketing Director’s guide to utilising the platform best, a list of do’s and dont’s for PR’s and the like. The whole article is definitely worth a read for those of you considering using the service for more than your own personal ramblings, but particularly worthy of note is the now classic ‘Watch your mouth’ anecdote teaching all Twitterers, quite frankly, when to just shut the hell up.

Ketchum, the US PR and marketing agency, keen to impress upon their client (FedEx) their expertise in all areas of social networking and digital media marketing, sent a young executive by the name of James Andrews to their HQ in Memphis for a meeting. Unfortunately, the said executive was rather too down with the kids, and sent out a tweet upon landing using his own personal moniker @keyinfluencer, decrying the desperately uninspiring state of his client’s home city, in his own tweet words:

True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say ‘I would die if I had to live here’

Perhaps more savvy with social media than Mr. Andrews had anticipated, FedEx employees, already following Andrews on Twitter, promptly caught the offensive Tweet and emailed around internally (including the top executives in FedEx’s front office as well as the corporate comms department) – all before Andrews had even set foot through the door.

Safe to assume he received a less than warm reception upon arrival – in fact, the full response that FedEx immediately sent through as a Direct Message to Andrews is now available online. As well as a public FedEx statement on the incident. Check it all out here.

And so the term CLT (Career Limiting Tweet) was born.

FedEx fleet


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