Bored Snapchats Cost RBS Chairman a Job

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    Even “private” and “temporary” messages can come back to haunt you

    Everyone knows Snapchat images are supposed to vanish after a set time period, but since the app’s release many have found out (through painful experience) that isn’t always the case.

    Well, you can add newly appointed Royal Bank of Scotland chairman Rory Cullinan to that list. Cullinan sent some Snapchats to his daughter during a busy day of work, and they wound up costing him big time. The Telegraph’s Peter Spence has more details:

    Rory Cullinan used photo-sharing app Snapchat to send images featuring captions that read: “Not a fan of board meetings xx”, “Boring meeting xx” and “Another friggin meeting”.

    The pictures then ended up being posted on Instagram around Father’s Day last year by the investment banker’s daughter, but only revealed in a national newspaper early this month. Mr Cullinan’s daughter had uploaded the photos with the message: “Happy Father’s Day to the indisputable king of Snapchat.”

    Cullinan, who had been with the bank for six years, came under heavy fire from critics immediately. The bank’s official statement effectively said nothing, with no reason for departure stated at all, but considering Cullinan was on his way out mere weeks after the Snapchats were posted the connection is hard to ignore.

    For crisis management and reputation protection purposes we like to tell people it’s OK to be a little paranoid when it comes to your personal messages. No matter how private you think they are, no matter how thoroughly you think they were destroyed, there’s a very real possibility that they could be made public. Remember that fact and act accordingly.

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    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
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    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is vice president for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]

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