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Crisis Communications in the Digital Age



Crisis Communications in the Digital Age

Crisis Communications in the Digital Age



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  • In any crisis it is best to respond quickly. With the speed of the Internet, and mobile media and self-publishing tools like blogging and podcasting, speed and accuracy from a credible source is utmost of importance. Assess the damage quickly, determine the cause, bring in the experts, liaise with the authorities and tell the truth. If you hide any facts that you are already aware of, the media is likely to go dig up or worse still concoct its own story based on unreliable sources, sending your reputation and management of the crisis into a tailspin. Get the real story out before others -- within and outside the company -- make matters worse by revealing inaccuracies and escalating the crisis.
  • Bike-lock maker Kryptonite finds out the U-shaped locks it's been making can be picked with a Bic pen. Bloggers continued to rail at the company until it finally agrees to exchange the old locks for new ones, at an estimated cost of at least US$10 million.
  • Blogging is a weblog. It is a powerful new medium. Millions. Best ones are very political, humorous, corporate antagonisers.
  • House is burning down. Key messages to 999: house is burning ( FACT/EVENT), address (location, where to seek remedy, which point is affected), is anyone trapped (consequence, suggest haste of remedial action)

Crisis Communications in the Digital Age Crisis Communications in the Digital Age Presentation Transcript

  • Crisis Communications Insight and 5 Steps to Managing an On-Line Crisis
  • Influential Media Has Changed
  • Good news, get it out fast Bad news, get it out faster !
  • Yesterday’s Response Method
  • What’s Changed?
  • Today’s Response Method
  • The New Crisis Response Team Yesterday’s Team Executive Team Legal Counsel Communications Product Specialist Additional Team Members IT & Web Blog Staff Social Media Counsel Community/ Brand Managers Media Production Staff Media & Blogger Relations
  • Kryptonite Bike Lock Fiasco
  • The Power of Video Blogs
    • A biker finds out that his bike lock made by US lock-maker Kryptonite can be picked with a Bic pen
    • He posts video online
    • Company does not react after three days
    • Bloggers continue to rail at the company until it finally agrees to exchange the old locks for new ones, at an estimated cost of at least US$10 million
  • Mainstream Media Picks Up Story
  • Source: Fortune
  • The Internet circa 1993
  • Internet Today INSERT hard video Link to ‘Did You Know Video’ Version 3 is Hyperlinked
    • Ad with new mothers
    • Anger on the web
      • Twitter Twitter message “I can't even count the ways I am offended right now. Taken aback! This is a serious screw up for such a major company.”
        • Instant reaction on blogs and other social media
        • Crossover to traditional media
    INSERT hard video Link to ‘Motrin Ad’ Video is Hyperlinked
  • "On behalf of McNeil Consumer Healthcare and all of us who work on the Motrin brand, please accept our sincere apology," the message said. "We are in the process of removing this ad from all media. It will, unfortunately, take a bit of time to remove it from our magazine advertising, as it is on newsstands and in distribution."
    • The ultimate demise of the campaign demonstrates either how quickly social media can galvanize a groundswell of opinion or how much power over online discourse they can give a few vocal tastemakers with outsize weight.’ ( Ad Age , Nov. 1, 2008)
  • Addressing Domino’s Pizza Crisis, the firm decided to react to the event (taking 48 hours to respond) . They presented an apology (public & personally ) with immediate action taken and future commitment to its customers. It chose unconventional media channels to confront their consumers, the same channels in which the crisis found its way through social media networks.
  • Consumer research will be needed to follow consumers’ perceptions and behaviors in few months time. Currently, it seems that although the images were shocking, the Company has succeeded in reacting well to the event. On-line trends indicate that the buzz around I lost an interest.
    • Ide ntify your crisis team & expand it
    • Update traditional crisis communications plan for social media response plan
    3 Imagine your nightmare scenarios & prepare 4 Instill 0n-going active listening Track blogosphere & social media 5. Don't wait. Your response time is only 24 hours. For high profile brands – Only hours
  • Review: Managing a crisis in the YouTube age
    • Set up crisis management unit, role-play strategies for dealing with crisis scenarios involving digital media – blogging, online video, viral emails, rogue websites.
    • Create crisis webpage and direct press there.
    • Openly and quickly share the facts online that you know with the public.
    • Show you care, accept responsibility, tell the truth when you are at fault & warrented .
  • NOW
    • Word-of-mouth
    • SMS, MMS
    • Email
    • Blogs, Microblogs
    • Social networks
    • IPTV, Online radio
    • IM, Chat
    • W2W
    • Online video
    • Podcasting
    • Websites, Wikis
    • SEO, Online ads
    • Product placement
    • Viral marketing
    • Print
    • Mail
    • Telephone
    • TV/ Radio
    • Advertising
    • PR/Marketing
    Media Options
  • Crisis PR: Time Is of the Essence
    • Traditional crisis tenets apply
    • Like crisis, messaging must not stray from facts
    • Timely reactions are critical to stymie crisis
    • Big blogs, social network users prompt immediate reaction
    • Never overpromise (coal miners)!
    • Even small blogs, social network users should be responded to immediately – not days.
    • Media “crowdsources” stories from blogs, socnets
  • Have a Plan, Items in Place
    • Worst case scenarios such as downed plane, terrorist attack, etc:
      • Have messaging in place
      • Communication guidelines in place
      • In some cases, prepared statements
    • Emotions involved get shared socially across the Internet, making it a community loss: It’s about them
    • Prepare to provide regular updates on a public schedule, even if there is no update
  • 1 Identify your crisis team & expand it: investor relations, government relations, public relations, crisis communications, outside lawyers, general counsel, digital communications, human resources, multimedia communications experts and an executive team. 2 Imagine your nightmare scenarios and prepare for them — make sure you own all the search-engine-optimization keywords, and that lawyers who specialize in class-action suits against major companies don't. 3 Track the blogosphere and other social media. Be connected with the major players and be as responsive as possible. 4 Don't wait. Your response time is only 24 hours. For real high profile brands - You're will need to evolve from the standard 24 hours to 24 minutes.