Tweets, Technology and the New World of Risk


So who would have thought a tweet from the President of the United States is one of the biggest risks facing your organization?

In the past few weeks, such tweets have led to swift changes to the plans of the entire US automobile industry, thrusting such companies as Ford, GM, Toyota and Fiat into the headlines and posing an economic threat to the country of Mexico.

Two giants of the aerospace industry, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, faced off on the cost of building fighter jets.

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And the world’s largest online retailer Amazon and its owner Jeff Bezos have been the subject of several tweets, including the owner’s relationship with another of his companies, the Washington Post.

Reuters tracked the wild swings in the share prices of the companies targeted by the tweets -  the impact on GM at one point took it to the highest price for weeks; Lockheed Martin had its worst two-day performance for five weeks.

These were not issues created by media coverage. The mainstream business media could only follow in the slipstream of the story.

Instead, technology allowed the President to go straight to the public, to customers, to employees, to competitors, to regulators – and all in 140 characters. 

What would you do?

So what would you do if you suddenly became the subject of an adverse Presidential tweet?

Your stock price is roiling.

Your customers want answers.

Your employees are confused.

Your plans are suddenly in doubt


The answer?

The first thing you need is a crisis plan, created in anticipation of just this kind of situation. You also need a crisis team, trained in delivering the plan and bringing all the necessary specialist expertise.

But that plan is no good if it’s stuck on your company’s intranet and difficult to access out of hours.

Or, even worse, it’s in a ring-bound binder in your office filing cabinet.

A presidential tweet, like so many crises in this digital age, creates instant turmoil.  You need to move fast if you are to have any hope of controlling the story.

Having your plan on a smartphone app will give you the ability to immediately access the plan, have the team communicate and activate the plan – and all within minutes.

Technology is a driver of the growing sense of threat in corporate America – but it also provides part of the answer. 


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