Yesterday in the new media world, Chrysler’s official account tweeted the “F” word. Yes, it was most likely a mistake made by some (now) poor employee- poor because s/he was fired over the incident. Not only was that employee fired, Chrysler disengaged themselves from contract obligations with the agency with which they were working.
This situation is begging for a blog post by JAM.
We can’t help, but feel bad for the employee. S/he probably had their personal Twitter account, as well as Chrysler’s account attached to their phone or computer. A simple tweet complaining about Detroit traffic probably made said employee disengage from Twitter completely. If that were us, we’d definitely quickly grow a hatred for Twitter.
We can’t stress this enough- business is business and personal is personal. It’s hard to keep them separate when it seems like personal life and business life seems to meld so well together these days, especially in the social space. But, let’s face it. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. No, it wasn’t a smart move to have personal accounts and business accounts attached to one device or email address- not smart at all.
Do we think Chrysler’s brand is damaged because of this one tweet? No, not at all. If anything, it brought Chrysler into the spotlight for a few days. Do we think it was a little exaggerative to fire the employee…this is debatable- we could definitely see her/him being pulled from the account and possibly being given other responsibilities, as we’re certain this person learned their lesson. Honestly, if we were Chrysler, we would have put a PR spin on the mishap and turned lemons to lemonade. We did notice that Chrysler is approaching 13,000 followers- not bad in our opinion.
Another lesson to be learned by businesses- new media serves as the voice of your brand. While it is easy to make a mistake, a “veteran” social media strategist is so very necessary- a precise and detail-oriented person(s).
And, yes, there is always a lot of fucking traffic in Detroit.
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All portfolio photography by Sean Spansel