If you don’t follow @ScottMonty (left) on Twitter, you should.
Whether you agree with the bailout plan or not (O.K., in Ford’s case, it’s “assurance we can get a line of credit if the economy worsens,” he will tell you on Twitter), Ford Motor Co.’s global digital and multimedia communications manager demonstrates how social media can work for an organization.
Seemingly at work all hours in recent weeks, Scott Monty answers questions about the plan, directs people to a Web site set up over the Thanksgiving weekend to address the topic, shares a link to the plan submitted to Congress, posts his boss’s testimony – plus he’ll add a bit of personal comment along the way (we learned Scott and his young family flew from Boston to Detroit last week as they completed their move from Greater Boston to Michigan; now they’re living among cardboard boxes).
The corporate press release, the Web site (12/13 update: excluding the video conversations featuring Ford execs), the talking points – even Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s testimony – are all scripted. Scott Monty’s comments are not, and he’s responding to just about anyone on Twitter who makes a comment about Ford or asks a question. Go ahead and try it and you’ll get a genuine response. And you’ll also see the occasional post such as this one: “I told Alan that if things turn nasty in DC, he should take the Mustang and do donuts on the Capital lawn. :-)”
That’s the difference between stiff one-way traditional communications and social media. Sure, social media is riskier, but if executed properly it makes even the behemoth corporation feel more real and in touch with its customers.