Man Utd announce Moyes’ sacking via Twitter

23 April 2014, 12:04

In another watershed moment for Twitter, Manchester United used the platform to break the news of David Moyes’ sacking earlier today. It’s quite a bold move for a club that only actually launched its profile at the beginning of this season once previous incumbent Sir Alex Ferguson – who was believed to be opposed to the social network – had left the club.

We’ve covered clubs acting as content creators before – I’m referring to the use of the word ‘breaking’ in the Tweet above which is a common tactic used by news outlets – so instead it’s interesting to note that Twitter is taking the place of the traditional press conference when it comes to announcing news. The network is quickly becoming established as the go-to source for news, with plenty of national news outlets simply scouring for Tweets to quote in their stories rather than reading out to people for comments.

Maria Hopwood, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Northampton, is among those who doesn’t feel Twitter is the best medium for announcing this kind of news.

“Though I’m all for social media and really enjoy the many benefits of Twitter I feel that as a medium for breaking news – such as the sacking of high profile football managers – it is too impersonal and abrupt. In the Man Utd context, the use of Twitter is a classic example of an organisation using one-way asymmetrical communication which is certainly not the best public relations approach.

A press conference allows for two-way communication and provides a more open forum for questions to be asked and answered.

“Also, from a sport PR perspective, such an announcement via Twitter will only reach a relatively limited audience whilst a broadcast press conference can be viewed via a range of media by a much bigger audience of fans and others.

“Because there were so many leaks surrounding the Moyes sacking story before today’s announcement, I think that Man Utd should have handled their whole communications strategy much more professionally in this instance.”

grim reaper

The club’s decision to sack Moyes comes after a weekend in which they lost to his old club Everton at Goodison Park, and chief mischief makers Paddy Power hired a man to sit next to the dugout dressed as the grim reaper. The man was removed from the ground during the match.

More from News

Sign up for curated sports digital marketing news direct to your inbox.

Latest posts

The State of Football Social Media 2021

The State of Football Social Media 2021

The State of Football Social Media survey is back for 2021. The purpose of the survey is to find out more about teams' plans social media in 2021, as well as their priorities when it comes to marketing. You can find a link to the survey below. It's all anonymous, and...

How FC Midtjylland transformed their social strategy

How FC Midtjylland transformed their social strategy

The digital landscape of Danish football has been rather stale for some years. Many clubs have been reluctant to focus on developing this side of their organisation, which has caused them to fall behind, become understaffed, and lacking an understanding of the...