Telegraph piece comes up a Tweet
Rather dully, we’re going to have to talk about social media. Dully, because it continues to take up a disproportionate amount of time and concentration on the part of many people in business while its effect on society is one of the mammoth pre-occupations of our times.
The first point was well made by The Telegraph’s Matthew Lynn when he suggested that despite all the furore over United Airlines’ unique and infamous interpretation of ‘Flying the Friendly Skies’, little had actually happened as a result of Twitter’s scream of anger.
He’s right, up to a point. Lynn’s terms of reference being confined to mid/long-term impact on the share price or the position of the CEO. He’s right too to say that Twitter and related ‘flamings’ rarely have the adverse effect that certain reputational advisers widely suggest to clients current and potential.
But, again, only up to a point, Lord Copper. It’s true that Twitter’s great weakness is that it really is an echo chamber. The same people largely talk to the same people and coalesce around the same entirely predictable viewpoints. Its impact and value is, therefore, limited.
However, that power to coalesce, and the speed with which it can do so, remain a potent threat. Merely by being a blunt instrument on one occasion, doesn’t mean it can’t hit the target precisely at some point in the future. Lynn’s viewpoint being much the same as suggesting that having checked the gun isn’t loaded once, he need never check that the chamber is empty again.
What he also overlooks is that the airline was obliged to make a series of public and potentially expensive operational policy changes, including increases in the incentives offered to passengers who are ‘bumped’. Hardly no impact at all and that’s ignoring the ugly dent in the United name.
And then the irresistible journalistic temptation to swipe at a PR or two; social media crises are all the banshee howl of a communications director to scare his CEO from slumber. Predicted catastrophes rarely happen. Indeed. But given the traditional media’s long-term trade in reporting imminent disasters that never really came to pass some sense of self-awareness might not go amiss. We mean, all that Millennium Bug or MMR stuff, whatever happened to that, eh?
Cabin Crew Courts KO
On the subject of airlines, the Round-Up had to laugh at the American Airlines steward who asked his passengers if they would like a fight.
We suggest a remedial spell doing high season UK holiday flights, say Southend/Malaga or Glasgow/ Magaluf, for the pugnacious member of cabin crew. He will not find himself short of takers. Practically a definition of kill or cure.
Tricky Trump Crosses the White Wash at the White House
And finally, the last Round-Up suggested that US President Donald Trump had managed to pull-off something of a reputational coup by the unusual means of a Syrian missile strike that amazed his friends and confounded his enemies.
Scratch that. Transparency = trust and emulating Nixon in firing the man investigating your campaign for complicity with Russia seems the most opaque of historical precedents to pursue.