"In the age of transparency, the layoff will be blogged." Quote from: NY Times, November 4, 2008
Recently while reviewing company name mentions on Twitter, I came across a website, Telonu, specifically for employees to voice their reactions regarding how their layoff was handled.
This on the tail of a tale related by Pulitzer Prize winning Photo Journalist Jim MacMillan (formerly of the Philadelphia Daily News and Associated Press among others). Jim was describing a group of messages he was reading on Twitter, happening as the senders were in a newsroom meeting regarding re-organization plans at the Philadelphia Daily News. Read Jim's story here: (uncensored tweets).
To modify the opening quote then: "The layoff will be Twittered."There's nothing new in protecting a Company's image during restructuring - we've always cautioned and assisted our corporate clients to monitor emails, messages, subsequent "hate" domains and their brand carefully during a restructuring - but Telonu, driven by the power of Twitter, was quickly gaining legs.
The site, Telonu's tag line? "Rave, Rant, Rate™ your Workplace, the People there and lots of other stuff... Anonymously. Tell-on-you, get it?"
There are positive comments, there are some resources, but the below is not unusual (I have hidden the company name):
This also from their site, and while they list a variety of "uses" for the site, #1 is troubling to me:
"On Telonu you can:
Praise or bury your company or school
Add and prop up companies, schools and people for other Telonu members' comments and opinions
Follow anything or anyone in real time
Mingle with old friends and make new ones
Use the Ask section to quiz the Telonu community about anything"
In the past, these types of sites generally died out as the great community that is the web SEO'd them to the back-burner of over-cooked, under-updated sites. Twitter however, keeps the rant fresh. Twitter has become an important SEO and marketing message tool, and these types of sites don't fade away as quickly as before.
So, when you work with an Outplacement provider (you ARE using us, right?), make sure you are providing your departing workforce with transition programs commensurate to their experience and length of tenure, are treating them with dignity and respect, and are kept alerted to trends regarding the mention of your company's name and Brand - both positive and negative - quickly.
Call us and we'll tell you how.
Read Part II
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