Intern gone wild @MarcJacobsIntl

The latest corporate Twitter account to suffer from an employee not using their brain is Marc Jacobs (@MarcJacobsIntl). It appears an intern with the company (I’m sure the name will soon be revealed) took over the account – presumably it was his or her responsibility to update it – and posted a few not-so-positive tweets about the company:

This situation breeds the question, should an intern be responsible for managing a corporate social media account or should it be the responsibility of a permanent employee? In this case I am of the opinion that anyone – intern, employee or agency – can do harm to an account. Having a blanket policy like that would not solve a potential PR disaster like this one. These issues, while public when they happen, don’t happen that often in the grand scheme of things. What is most important for organizations, is to learn how to manage the after effect and repair the brand’s image, when they do happen.

I’m interested to see how the Marc Jacobs handles this, because unlike the mistakes that happened with Red Cross and Chrysler, this example is a blatant hijacking of the Twitter account. Either way I’m sure this is going to be a fun Friday for the communications team.

Thanks to @ChrissyChrzan for the title inspiration.
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About Sean Bailey
Social media specialist who also happens to be a tech geek that's addicted to reading, movies, music, sports and coffee. Anything said on this blog is my opinion (obviously).

4 Responses to Intern gone wild @MarcJacobsIntl

  1. LittleM says:

    Sean,

    In my opinion :

    1st: I think it’s fake, it’s just a part of the MJ twitter thing plan. Guess it’s just another way to gain new followers. Bad that it went that way 🙂

    2nd: So I think there’s no intern but social media managers. And you’re right it doesn’t matter if it’s an intern or a manager, both can be good and make mistakes.

    Let’s see what happens, but i’m sure that MJ has such a strong brand image that it will be all forgotten by tomorrow.

    • Sean Bailey says:

      I actually thought it might have been face as well, and if it is, it’s a terrible way to generate interest in an internship. And if it matters, they deleted the tweets.

      I do believe it was an intern, or at least someone different from who was managing the account previously. The tweets have had a different voice since this person took over (here’s where they announce they’re taking over: http://bit.ly/f8slma)

      I agree MJ has a strong brand and it likely won’t be affected by it, but it’s still a good conversation starter to get companies to think about the “what if..” situation.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Werd Unheard says:

    Hey Sean,

    You should take a look a this facebook feed! I work at a ski resort in North America and we have been following this closely as a “what NEVER to do” with a corporate facebook account. As a marketing manager, I am always terrified of social media and how quickly things can go wrong. This is a great example of bad social media practices.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/note.php?note_id=10150118019288725

    If the link doesn’t work, it’s the Northstar at Tahoe fan page, under “notes”.

    • Sean Bailey says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and for the example too. From what I could see, the case of this ski resort could have been avoided if they had been a bit more clear about what the price changes were. Barring that, simply responding to the many comments on the note would have cleared things up a lot better for customers.

      Have you had similar instances where things have spiraled out of control?

      Sean

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