As of recently many companies have taken to the internet as an alternative to more conventional channels such as television and radio. Almost all large companies now have a twitter account which they use to engage and keep in touch with the community and as a tool for them to build their user base as well as to market their products/services.
An example of a company which is getting involved in blogging is the Red Cross. As a complement to their blog they also have a twitter account which boasts a massive 186,837 followers as of September 13, 2010. That is a phenomenal boost of 182,639 from just one year ago and exposes just how viral these social networking sites are. The Red Cross twitter account is used to make the operations of the company more transparent as well as for marketing in which they “tweet” short blurbs of information about disasters happening around the world to persuade viewers to donate to help the cause.
Despite the largely positive potential blogging and micro-blogging may carry with it there is even larger potential at jeopardizing ones-self or an entire company with just one slip up. This is not something that is new and can often be avoided by following company protocol before making any material public. An example of a recent slip up is Stephanie Rice’s homophobic tweet which despite being deleted only moment after being published has resulted in the loss of her contract with Jaguar and severely damaged her reputation which will undoubtedly affect any possible future sponsorship.
If the internet and the usage of social media has taught us anything it is that even the slightest slip-up in wording has the potential to ruin an individual or company and that it is of utmost importance that anyone acting on behalf of a company or who relies heavily on their personal branding should adhere to tight guidelines regarding the publishing of content on the internet.