Reputation managment 2.0

pikeroonAre you a fat pikey bastard? Yes?

Then presumably, you shop at Primark (or Primani to the chattering classes that love a bargain).

Well, they are the latest brand to launch a staff investigation after several hapless employees posted some less than flattering comments about their beloved customers on Facebook.

Some nuggets included: fat, pikeys, and twats.

Primark will launch an investigation into the comments, but they are the latest brand to do so (Virgin, BA, Tesco, Waitrose to name but a few).

In this day and age, surely no right minded individual would post any negative work related comment on a social networking page? Knowing that once it’s up online, its there for the world to see, and could come back and haunt them at any point in the future…

Well, factor in minimum wage and less than amazing working conditions, and it goes some way into explaining why numerous brands suffer at the hands of frontline staff.

However, this latest incident yet again highlights the importance of social media guidelines for employees.

All staff (in brands big and small) need to be aware of the potential damage their harmless / bitter / outright slanderous comments on social media sites can do to their paymasters reputation.  And ultimately, it can cost jobs…

Primark have generally done well in the social space. Their non-official facebook fan page was widely heralded as a marketers wet dream, something they mined easily with a truly engaged audience.

But, how (if at all) have they / do they engage their staff?  Does company HQ actively engage, listen to, and respond to the frontline staffs gripes, aches and pains? Are they able to voice their concerns beyond the shop floor supervisor? Or, do they feel their only outlet to vent their rage, is a public forum…

Sweatshops aside, this presents the brand with a genuine opportunity. A timely staff engagement programme wouldn’t go amiss. A few t-shirts with some choice slogans from the staff might also help put a positive spin on this in the press.

It’s unlikely this’ll put off many customers from shopping with the brand. If they can get past the sweat shop production issues, it’s unlikely they’ll mind this little slur against their good name. And I’m sure ‘Fat pikey twat’ t-shirts would sell by the truckload.

After all, sticks and stones…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And would like to remind you all to be careful with those tweets / status updates!

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About igmorrison

Modern day marketing comms man. If you want to know more about me, visit: find me on twitter @igmorrison or just leave me a comment.

One response to “Reputation managment 2.0”

  1. Jake says :

    haha! well said

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