#hmvXFactorFiring: HMV Social Media Crisis

I like to check out what’s trending on Twitter for kicks and giggles. Sometimes you get gems like #puertoricanproblems or #unansweredhiphopquestions, which I personally found hilarious, but yesterday #hmvXFactorFiring was trending.

I would bet vast sums of money those higher up at HMV weren’t laughing.

On January 15th, HMV announced they were going into administration due to bankruptcy, a move that would put 4,350 jobs at risk and close 300 stores. Yesterday began the first round of job cuts.

However, HMV overlooked an important detail- they hadn’t revoked the fired employees’ Twitter access.

Rogue ex-employees began tweeting live from HR about the mass firings and according to The Drum ‘in the space of 15 minutes, the official account, followed by over 70,000 people’ saw these Tweets:


Someone from HMV deleted the tweets within minutes, but it was too late. ‘The tweet went viral within half an hour as it was retweeted 1,300 times in the first 30 minutes.’- The Drum

People, especially consumers, love social media for its transparency and virility. Thus far, it’s done wonders for making people feel closer to the brands they love, but the same positives can become great negatives for companies if they aren’t aware of the power of social media.

With such power, social media plans need to be in place. This means that all employes who deal with social media, be it directly or indirectly, need to know the basics of using any social media platforms.

As rudimentary as it sounds, this includes signing in and out, posting, deleting posts, private messages and how to appropriately handle positive and negative post from people.

In some cases, it may be helpful for an assigned delegate to handle such matters so that there is a consistency. This person could also create a procedural handbook for social media use, including a crisis plan.

Someone at HMV tried to soothe the damage that was done by posting several tweets:


In my opinion, by the time it was trending, it was too late. This case is a prime example of how influential social media can be, both positively and negatively. Make sure your organisation knows the ins and outs of any social media platform, not only to prevent a crisis such as this, but also to make sure you’re getting the most out of your efforts.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

4 thoughts on “#hmvXFactorFiring: HMV Social Media Crisis

  1. I remember seeing this play out. Although I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the layoffs, I think that the company did not present the layoffs to the employees well because they are clearly angry and upset.
    I also agree with your point that the company did too little and too late in responding to the crisis.

  2. babridges88 says:

    From what I’ve read, the layoffs happened as a result of the bankruptcy and Hilco, who bought out HMV, used it as a cost cutting method. I agree with you about the lack of communication concerning the layoffs, especially in the tweet that talks about ‘loyal employees who love the brand’. Seems like they may have had more than just social media problems.

  3. Cleo says:

    You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  4. Brett Ashley Bridges says:

    Thanks, Cleo!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Brett Ashley Bridges

Welcome to your new home on WordPress.com

Site Title

Welcome to your new home on WordPress.com

Reflecting on Public Relations

social for the people

Social media training and advice


Communication, Politics, Tech and Life - Anton's often overly complicated view of the world


Learn effective SEO tactics that work and increase traffic to your website.

PR Diaries

Everyday PR News

Public Relations up to date


EsPResso Afterthoughts

Brewing up PR caffeinated reflections and spilling the beans on hot topics

SEO Optimization Articles

SEO optimizaton atricles - your guide to the SEO world. Catch fresh and unique SEO content and use them in your SEO strategy

The Eye of PR

Ideas of public relations around us.

PR Mocha

A Blend of hot news & cool trends in PR


Living a life of happiness and sustainability...

Beyond PR

Engage Opportunity Everywhere

Rktalks's Blog

Digital delights

PR Style?

Do it in a PR way.

PR Circle

what we talk about when we talk about PR...

...and PR

a world where all people are PRs

Pertinent to PR

Making Sense of PR Today and How It's Changing

%d bloggers like this: