It’s been a big week for NASA flight director Bobak Ferdowsi. In addition to becoming an overnight Internet sensation, he helped land the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission. Not bad for seven days.
The lesson that we can learn from Ferdowsi’s literal overnight success is that your employees can inadvertently become your brand champions. During the mission Bobak used his personal Twitter account @tweetsoutloud to live tweet the action. As his meme as the “good looking NASA scientist” gained popularity, his twitter follower count grew to over 10,000 overnight. His newfound popularity is allowing him to become the new, young face of NASA and his “cool” appearance is surreptitiously getting a new generation of kids interested in science.
How would you feel about your employees becoming your brand advocates? As PR professionals, it is important for us to rule out any crisis situations upfront. If Ferdowsi’s personal Twitter handle is associated with the brand, any misconduct on his part could give the public a reason to attribute it back to NASA. If you were on the social media team at NASA how would you handle a potential mis-tweet on Bobak’s part? Leave responses in the comments below or sound off on our Facebook and Twitter.