The fifth time I did it, concern centered on people ringing up reporters on their cell phones.
The tenth time, hand-wringing involved potential texting from the meeting itself.
The 25th (yes, 25th) time, real-time updates on personal Twitter and Facebook accounts was the chief worry.
As the technology evolves, so do the challenges of effectively communicating change. And at this moment, no one knows that better than HMV Group, a British-based entertainment company that laid off 190 employees today as part of an administration process. (The financially struggling company is being run by Deloitte.) As the hatchet fell, one of the exiting workers apparently used HMV’s own Twitter feed to give a blow-by-blow account.
Once again we see a corporation failing to adequately consider social media in its external communication strategy around a major event. Had HMV included these tools in its planning, it could have shared its message proactively, personally, accurately and effectively.
It will be interesting to see how HMV and Deloitte manage the reaction to this miscue in the coming days. As of this writing, the company has issued a brief statement about the layoffs with no comment on the Twitter incident.
Meanwhile, companies delivering bad news (or any news of external interest) can learn from HMV’s experience and incorporate social media in its communication strategies. Layoffs are difficult enough for all involved; living them virtually doesn’t help.