• Glenn van Zutphen

Loose Lips Sink Ships... and Businesses

There’s no doubt that the words and context of a corporate spokesperson matter; consider 26 billion reasons why. That’s the amount of value lost this week over two days by China’s web-based shopping platform Meituan. Meituan CEO Wang Xing lost $2.5 billion of his personal wealth as well as Bloomberg reports: “…after he posted verses from a millennium-old poem about the misguided attempts of China’s first emperor to quash dissent.” Wang later deleted the post and explained he was criticizing his own industry and not the Chinese Government. Alas, it was too late… the damage was done.

A spokesperson needs to think carefully before posting (over the years CEO Wang has been a frequent poster on everything from Western literature to trivia to Chinese poetry). Consider the Four Guiding Questions for Business Posting on Social Media:

  • Will the post benefit your stakeholders?

  • Will the post serve your personal thought leadership objectives?

  • Will the post serve your company objectives?

  • Is there any way that this post can be misinterpreted?

Hit “send” only after thoughtfully considering the above questions.