Chamber Director’s Resignation Stems from Twitter Feed


When I read the headline for this story, I initially assumed this director probably had too much to drink and spouted off a personal opinion about someone or something (as many of us do from time to time) on her Chamber’s Twitter feed, thus leading to her departure. But reading her actual Tweets illustrates how fine the line is between what should and shouldn’t go out via a business’ social media program. Granted, her posts might be construed as a bit too informal, but nothing here seems all that egregious. Here is an excerpt from the article at AnnArbor.com, and the site itself shows a few examples of the Twitter feed in question:

The rules that govern the social media world are constantly evolving, but an episode that led to the resignation of the Dexter Area Chamber of Commerce’s executive director shows that ignorance about that evolution is risky.

Mary Ann Bell Falzon resigned last week after a column in a community newspaper questioned the content of her Twitter account, which she was using to promote local businesses through the chamber’s “Doing Dexter” campaign.

Falzon’s mistakes serve as a lesson for the business community, public officials and others unsure about how to approach social media.

“Through all of this whole Twitter mess, I was doing what I set out to do with Doing Dexter,” she told AnnArbor.com. “What I didn’t do well was tweet about it.”

The first lesson for business people: Make sure you understand the tool before you start using it. Falzon acknowledged that she erred by launching a Twitter account without understanding the social media tool, which allows users to send 140-character updates to users who choose to follow their accounts or view the Web site version of their account.

Falzon said her voluntary resignation was “mostly” connected to the criticism over her Twitter account, although she said the chamber board never confronted her about it. The chamber board, for its part, ousted the board member in charge of overseeing Falzon and released a statement acknowledging that the Doing Dexter campaign had “gone with too little supervision."

Falzon launched the Twitter account on July 8 specifically to chronicle her efforts to shop locally and eat locally through the Doing Dexter campaign, which started Aug. 1 and will last through Oct. 1.

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