The article "Companies and social networks" from The Economist print edition, November 6th 2008 explains how companies have been using social networks such as Facebook or Myspace to get their messages to a larger public and its negative consequences. Despite being a good marketing medium, a miss use of them can produce catastrophic damage to their image. This is what has happened for two famous airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, where employees have posted discredit and offensive comments about its safety standards and their clients.

This means a serious public-relations failure, probably caused by the insufficient education about the correct use of the internet provided to the employees. Nevertheless, either BA or VA, assure that they have several rules and methods to inform their staff about the proper use of the internet, but obviously, they are not having the expected results.

In order to avoid greater damage, specialists recommend managers to follow online activity frequently, since, in many cases they have learnt what was going on either by the press, as it happened in BA, or directly by customers’ complaints, as in the case of VA.

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