Written by Tim Focas, Capital Markets Lead at Aspectus

“Oh…my God…” #DavidSchwimmer is the new London Stock Exchange (LSE) CEO! Cue a truck full of Friends related gifs memes and gags this morning.

That’s the weird and wonderful of Twitter for you, but did anyone tell the LSE or Schwimmer’s (no not that one) former employer Goldman Sachs? You could forgive corporate communication departments for going “on a break” this morning. But when it comes to something as surreal as a senior finance chief sharing a name with a famous actor trending what, if anything, should financial institutions do from a comms perspective?

It is always difficult to gauge how people will react, and with something as inoffensive as this, it is hard to imagine shareholders getting too hot under the collar. That said, Twitter has been around long enough now for businesses to know about the sort of bizarre things people latch onto. It is a simple fact of modern day communications life that you have to prepare for all situations. Some comms bod may well be saying “I told you so” as we speak. If so, good on them. The point is not so much that there is a pressing need for the LSE or Goldman to react, more that it should have been on the agenda as part of the official Schwimmer media announcement. Twitter needs to be treated in the same way as a traditional news outlet. Any media strategy includes info on the angles that Financial Times or Financial News reporters are likely to take on any given story. Today, views from @John33 also need to be tracked in order to have full control of your brand.

Twitter serves up a constant stream of updates as unpredictable trends progress. The good news is that the overtly vocal nature of micro blogging means other people, often working in comms, tend to immediately correct these errors. While this is not the case with #DavidSchwimmer, it could well be for future announcements. These days, regardless of their size, financial institutions need to be as obsessed with what’s being said about their brand on social media as Ross was with dinosaurs!

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