Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't let your staffers run wild...

Like kids in a supermarket running amok while mum's busy, Ryanair staffers posse roughed up Irish blogger Jason Roe over a simple mistake posted on the latter's blog.

What I find really interesting from Wired's story is that later on, a Ryanair spokesperson confirms that the comments did indeed come from Ryanair staffers and unapologetically added: "It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy in corresponding with idiot bloggers, and Ryanair can confirm that it won't be happening again. Lunatic bloggers can have the blog sphere all to themselves, as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel."

I'm wondering what's Ryanair's strategy here - cheap publicity by infuriating the (local) blogosphere? It's not like the budget airline hasn't done outrageouspublicity stunts before.

Ryanair's own attitude aside, this incident also highlights the case for a proper, well-communicated social media policy for companies. Clearly, Ryanair staffers had taken it upon themselves to "educate" Mr. Roe out of their own initiative. In this day and age, with every white-collared worker spending their day sitting in front of the computer, and accessing the internet all-day, the chances are high that your staff's social media activity might run contrary to your organisation's objectives.

So should you just ban everyone in the company from blogging? Of course not.

Just lay out those rules. Share the game plan (if you don't have one, time to write one). What's the company's position of social media? (do we decide not to respond to criticism? Should only one person respond? Do we respond politely or arrogantly? etc. etc.) Define what your staff can do and cannot do, remembering that as individuals, they are entitled to some rights (blogging is still your private business, just don't do it on company time). And make sure people know these rules.

This is still oversimplifying it. But as it stands, I don't really have the time in the world to write a manual on this right now. The bottom-line is: don't let your staffers run wild... unless you're Ryanair.

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