Do pre-approved Tweets miss the point?

An article in today’s FT invites three pundits to examine the decision by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney to tweet from a range of pre-approved tweets and the general conclusion is this misses the point.

“It is mind-boggling that companies don’t understand that letting go is in their interest” says management gury Don Tapscott.

Now here’s the thing. There is ample evidence of the ROI of meticulously controlling the content of customer communication and a whole global marketing services sector has been the result if it.

And there is very little proof, bar the personal experiences of a few young businesses that can best be described as financial minions compared to the size of Morgan Stanley, of the commercial value of “letting go”.

For sure – anyone who has ever wished to wrap a long-outdated telephone cable around the throat of an Asian call centre operative talking to you off a script will know how frustrating it can be when businesses control their message.

But let me tell you how cataclysmic and irritating it can be when you deal with someone who goes off-script – and gets it wrong.

In the 60s another generation exhorted us all to “let it go” and many did spawning a new era of music and art and in many ways changing how we think about living.

But companies like Morgan Stanley did not let go. And in my opinion they were right not to.

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