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Editor's Notes: Don't twy this at home

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Robin Doussard
Monday, January 04, 2010

Doussard Family Industries held a day-long retreat over the holidays and decided that the company needed to jump on the social media bandwagon in a big way to better facilitate communication externally and internally. DFI has a long history of poor communication practices, and frankly I have to blame it entirely on the operations manager.

Ops is a loyal employee, and sometimes works hard. OK, not hard, but his heart is in the right place. He never forgets to bring beer to the company picnic. But he is just not cutting edge with anything but his hedge clippers.

As CEO, CFO and chief marketer, I had to convince Ops that we needed to get active on Twitter. Despite 31 years of trying to modernize him (hello, 1970s haircut!) Ops is still a Victorian when it comes to new technology, especially ones that require him to interface with humans. So we spent this past weekend in beta so Ops could be trained before we went public. The rule was that we could only communicate via Twitter. No email, no face-to-face, no phone calls.

CEO: OK, @Ops, let’s get our tweet stream going.

Ops: Why would we want to stream our treats?

CEO: Look, get serious or the beverage line item in the budget is history. Remember, you can only have 140 characters per tweet.

Ops: That means you only have 140 characters, right?

CEO: Right.

Ops: Excellent.

CEO: Very funny. Let’s start with how to make a Tiny URL work.

Ops: I cannot believe that you are bringing that up again.

CEO: When are you going to get over that?

Ops: I’m reviewing the Twictionary you gave me. Twaddle. I like that one.

CEO: If you aren’t going to take this seriously …

OPS: Twerp. J/K!

CEO: You can laugh at this, but DFI is losing a lot of market share by not being …

Ops: Twit, IMHO.

CEO: That does it. I’m coming over to take away that …

Ops: No way, we aren’t supposed to talk face-to-face. I’m getting the hang of it. Twerd.

CEO: Why don’t we just say that I’ll be in charge of all external communication from now on. Your family would be happier.

Ops: Fine, my sister is a narcissitwit anyway. Want to know what a twife is?


Ops: Fine. I’m not impressed with your currency in this stuff, by the way.

After a few more moments of testing it became clear to me that Ops doesn’t have what it takes to take DFI to the next level of social media interaction. In fact, I’m not sure what Ops has that works anymore. Much less the Tiny URL issue.

Robin Doussard is Editor of Oregon Business.

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