Message to companies like down-on-its-luck UK retailer HMV: if you plan to announce large-scale layoffs, make sure you have your brand’s Twitter feed under control. Earlier today, management announced plans for more than 190 firings (60 within HR alone) to the staffing department without considering the fact that some of the workers in that meeting had access to the company’s official Twitter feed.
Using iPhones, one or more staffers went on a rampage for approximately 30 minutes in order to let the world (and the rest of the company) know that they were about to be “let go” despite their loyalty to the brand and that HMV, which they “dearly love[d]” for some reason, was “being ruined.”
Administrators from consulting firm Deloitte later confirmed the news of the 190 firings. But they’d already lost control of the story–and they continued using the hashtag after deleting the offending messages!
— hmv (@hmvtweets) January 31, 2013
This wasn’t the only recent PR slip-up for HMV, either.
After hiring Deloitte to analyze its (very poor) financial state, HMV announced that it would no longer honor previously purchased gift vouchers and that proceeds from a recent charity single might not be paid in full–all before quickly backtracking under pressure from an understandably miffed public.
Of course, today’s bravely insane employees couldn’t save themselves, but they did offer everyone a very good lesson in (in)effective management for the social media age. Unlike David Brent, most people do not have a strange sense of humor about being “made redundant.”