Twitter Forcing A Strategy Switch

Came across an article on the Chicago Tribune regarding the strategic impact of social media.  This blurb jumped out for me:

While about five officials at Southwest Airlines typically vet every press release for accuracy and nuance, communications staffer Christi Day flies solo on Twitter. She acts as the discount carrier's voice without editing from her bosses.

This is fascinating, though I suppose it isn't really surprising given that social is largely still an experiment for most marketers in the space...and a curiousity to the majority marketers that remain on the sidelines.

Still, I can't help but imagine that there will eventually be a need for oversight, approval, etc. for social posts.  Every corporate post to a social stream instantly reaches hundreds of thousands of people that matter.  It facilitates the holy grail of marketing communications - one-to-one conversations with your customers - yet it isn't getting any attention from management?  (Actually - it is probably better this way...)

On the other hand, a press release gets slowly cycled through the creaky traditional media machine and often leads to follow up conversations before the "story" actually happens, if it happens at all.  This paradigm is shrinking fast.

Plus - this is an awful lot of trust to place in one person/role.  Do the people at Southwest realize that - to the thousands on Twitter - Christi Day is the voice of Southwest?  Not that she's doing a poor job - just seems like they'd want to put a bit more thought/effort into the channel.