Social Media Risk – When an Employee Quit Goes Viral

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Social Media Risk – When an Employee Quit Goes Viral


What’s all in fun for one may be a security risk for another

 By Karen Masullo, EVP Social Media, Firestorm

Every business has had an employee abruptly quit; sometimes it’s a simple phone call or no show for a shift and sometimes, it’s a viral YouTube video.

Yup. Get ready for the Social Quit as demonstrated by 23 year old Joey DeFrancesco, a former Marriott Hotels employee.

DeFrancesco was an unhappy employee and had been for some time.  He fantasized about quitting in a “spectacular” way.

That way was an early morning resignation accompanied by a 19-piece alternative brass band of which he is a member (What Cheer Brigade), filmed for YouTube, and shared to Cheer Brigade’s 4700+ Facebook fans.

DeFrancesco says he’s been overwhelmed by the response to the video, which has racked up more than a million YouTube views – 1,438,368 as of this writing to be exact.

As quoted in Huffington Post, DeFranceso says: “I thought it would just embarrass the boss, but now it’s all over the world and it’s insane.”

Social Media Risk

There have been a number of negative comments referencing the hotel manager’s response upon seeing DeFrancesco and company in his building, via an employee entrance.
Many said the manager would have done the hotel’s reputation better by having some sense of humor when confronted by the group.

While this type of social media activity can have a negative effect on brand, my first thought was for the safety and security of the employees, guests and facility.

While all in “fun” in this instance, the dangerous alternative scenarios are frightening given that large a group of people were able to gain unfettered access into the employee-only area.  I do not blame the manager for his shock and reaction, although I do believe that safety and incident training are certainly called for at this facility, a franchised operation.

From a social media response perspective, the more than 120 news stories picked up from New York to Australia do give this story legs, but the current response from the Marriott franchisee is appropriate: Management of the facility says in an email to Huff Post that the hotel is a “rewarding place to work for all employees….We take the health and satisfaction of our employees very seriously, and creating a sense of community and pride within the hotel is a top priority for us.”

What would be your reaction? Let us know in the comments section of this article.


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