Diary of a Financier

AT&T, Verizon Reps Fight on Twitter

In Idiosyncrasy on Tue 11 Jan 2011 at 15:08
  • Before Verizon announced the imminent release of iPhone 4 on their network, employees battled their counterparts at AT&T via Twitter.

The big day is here, and Verizon (VZ) announced its agreement to sell the iPhone 4 starting February 10, ending the exclusive reign of AT&T (T) as the service provider.  I read the press release, but I really don’t care beyond that: the iPhone news has been priced-into VZ for quite some time, then recycled to inflate the stock even more.  Thus, I couldn’t see an impetus from today’s announcement to push the stock any higher.  (Plus, I made note about the waning strength of Telecomm stocks at the end of December.)

Anyway… my sister works in Marketing, and she caught this post at Tech Crunch from yesterday.  I guess Verizon and AT&T employees were battling via Twitter:

Make Them Stop: AT&T And Verizon Reps Are Now Fighting With My Tweet Stream

Earlier today, I posted a simple observation on Twitter. “Interesting: @att has twice the Twitter followers of @verizonwireless and @verzion – so they have that going for them.” That sparked an outcry from disgruntled AT&T users who more or less said in reply: “that’s because everyone follows @att to complain!” Funny. And probably not too inaccurate. But two types of people I didn’t expect to respond started to: those from Verizon and AT&T.

Welcome to the chaos amongst the companies that is Verizon iPhone Eve.

People watch train wrecks in droves, too,” John Czwartacki, a Verizon employee who edits their policy blog, wrote in his retweet of my message. Czwartacki has a history of this public trash talking towards AT&T. Which is fun, and we appreciate.

He followed that up with another retweet and another zinger: “that took long = 4 mins,” he wrote noting how people quickly were saying so many people only follow AT&T to complain.

Enter AT&T PR. “@parislemon It’s about engagement. We also answer people’s questions and comments on Facebook. That’s a more interesting and stark contrast,” Communications head Seth Bloom tweeted to me in response.

AT&T’s director of social media, Chris Baccus, quickly followed that up with, “@parislemon Our AT&T fans/followers talk on a lot of topics and we respect their time with follow up unlike some brands who just broadcast

That sounds like a shot at Verizon. Now we’re getting somewhere.

All of this is quite humorous from a company PR/psychological warfare perspective. I’m just not sure why it had to fill up my @reply stream.

I’m also not sure why Verizon is sending tweets from the iPhone, then deleting them. Actually, I know exactly why they did that.

Everyone, it seems, is flipping out over this device — and that includes big companies who just can’t seem to contain themselves. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Corporate cultures are hilarious.

–Romeo

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  1. Good information. Thanks.

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