Managing a Flash Crisis: How to HandleOnline Criticism of Your Organization#12NTCCrisisAdele CehrsPresident, Epic PR Group
Evaluate This Session!Each entry is a chance to win an NTEN engraved iPad!                        INSERT                  ...
When negative posts go viral…•A flash crisis can erupt•According to PRWeek, Only 9% of staff monitoring social mediahave p...
Nonprofits aren’t immune tocrisis                 The Flash Crisis   Slide 3
What we’re going to doEight ways to prepare & respondto online crisesScenario trainingNonprofit crisis flowchart          ...
1. Prepare for Potential Crisis IssuesEvaluate the situation & understand potential risksKnow the 5 Ws – Who to call, When...
2. Assemble a Crisis ResponseTeamBe open, yet limit people involvedKnow the “right” people– legal, PR, digital,executiveFo...
3. Monitor Online Platforms• Can’t address what you don’t know    • Assign staff to monitor Twitter/Facebook in    real ti...
4. To Respond or to not Respond?• Keys to understanding when to respond – W.H.O.    • Who affects    • How affects    • Ou...
5. Provide Positive Digital Content• Conversations will happen: Push the “RIGHT” contentbefore & after event• Develop “Eve...
6. Recruit Members & Fans• Events have fans: Find yours• Influence the Influencers• Structured participation• Provide exam...
7. Be Transparent• Nobody is perfect – problems will arise• Be honest• Tell how you are generally addressing theissue• Eve...
8. Remain Calm• It’s not personal (usually)• Don’t cloud your judgment – respond rationally; notemotionally• You cannot do...
How would you handle aflash crisis?We have several scenarios for groupdiscussion                       The Flash Crisis   ...
Scenario #1A long-standing member of your nonprofit is sharply negative aboutall aspects of the organization: leaders, sta...
Scenario #2Your nonprofit advocates to bring healthy nutrition to childrenacross the USA. You frequently share industry ne...
Scenario #3 You are the communications manager for a trade association that represents the statics industry. You’ve got th...
Scenario #4You are the social media manager for an organizationinvolved with food safety, sustainability, and promotesorga...
What’s your risk?                    The Flash Crisis   Slide 18
Thank you for your time today!Adele CehrsPresident, Epic PR Group@EpicPRGroupDCwww.epicprgroup.comadele@epicprgroup.com   ...
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Managing a Flash Crisis: How to Handle Online Criticism of Your Organization

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Managing a Flash Crisis: How to Handle Online Criticism of Your Organization

  1. 1. Managing a Flash Crisis: How to HandleOnline Criticism of Your Organization#12NTCCrisisAdele CehrsPresident, Epic PR Group
  2. 2. Evaluate This Session!Each entry is a chance to win an NTEN engraved iPad! INSERT QR CODE HERE or Online at www.nten.org/ntc/eval
  3. 3. When negative posts go viral…•A flash crisis can erupt•According to PRWeek, Only 9% of staff monitoring social mediahave previous experience in communications•74% of employees say it’s easy to damage a reputation on socialmedia•49% of decision makers believe social media has madethem more vulnerable to crisis The Flash Crisis Slide 2
  4. 4. Nonprofits aren’t immune tocrisis The Flash Crisis Slide 3
  5. 5. What we’re going to doEight ways to prepare & respondto online crisesScenario trainingNonprofit crisis flowchart The Flash Crisis Slide 4
  6. 6. 1. Prepare for Potential Crisis IssuesEvaluate the situation & understand potential risksKnow the 5 Ws – Who to call, When to call, Whereto call and Why to call.Update communication contingency plansTools you can use The Flash Crisis Slide 5
  7. 7. 2. Assemble a Crisis ResponseTeamBe open, yet limit people involvedKnow the “right” people– legal, PR, digital,executiveFollow the plan The Flash Crisis Slide 6
  8. 8. 3. Monitor Online Platforms• Can’t address what you don’t know • Assign staff to monitor Twitter/Facebook in real time The Flash Crisis Slide 7
  9. 9. 4. To Respond or to not Respond?• Keys to understanding when to respond – W.H.O. • Who affects • How affects • Outcome potential• Positive language• Responding to customer service issues/concerns The Flash Crisis Slide 8
  10. 10. 5. Provide Positive Digital Content• Conversations will happen: Push the “RIGHT” contentbefore & after event• Develop “Event Editorial Calendar”• Offer posts, Tweets, Blogs and LinkedIn updates The Flash Crisis Slide 9
  11. 11. 6. Recruit Members & Fans• Events have fans: Find yours• Influence the Influencers• Structured participation• Provide examples The Flash Crisis Slide 10
  12. 12. 7. Be Transparent• Nobody is perfect – problems will arise• Be honest• Tell how you are generally addressing theissue• Everyone wants to be heard – letattendees know you are listening The Flash Crisis Slide 11
  13. 13. 8. Remain Calm• It’s not personal (usually)• Don’t cloud your judgment – respond rationally; notemotionally• You cannot do EVERYTHING •Lean on your team •Bring in the experts The Flash Crisis Slide 12
  14. 14. How would you handle aflash crisis?We have several scenarios for groupdiscussion The Flash Crisis Slide 13
  15. 15. Scenario #1A long-standing member of your nonprofit is sharply negative aboutall aspects of the organization: leaders, staff, strategy, execution, etc.He actively and publicly shares his viewpoints through e-mail,association-sponsored discussion forums, Twitter, Facebook and hisown blog, which has a small but dedicated readership. He often useserroneous or skewed information to support his criticisms and is generallyintransigent when confronted with accurate information.To date, the organization’s leaders have been reluctant to respond to him; afew early attempts went badly, and the Board of Directors comforts itselfwith the argument that “Everyone knows he’s crazy, so we don’t have toworry about him.”However, emboldened by the Board’s silence, he has increased thefrequency and the vitriol of his attacks, and is now questioning theBoard’s integrity as well as its decisions. The President has asked youto suggest a course of action to deal with him. The Flash Crisis Slide 14
  16. 16. Scenario #2Your nonprofit advocates to bring healthy nutrition to childrenacross the USA. You frequently share industry news, trends, andtips on your Facebook page.Your new staff member accidently publishes a link to acontroversial op/ed piece about your industry, and fansand followers interpret it as your company’s stance on the issue,sparking an online debate on your Facebook page.Some posts are getting heated and even inappropriate, as theop/ed topic is a very sensitive issue within your industry.Do you encourage the debate? Where do you draw the linebetween healthy discourse and unproductive chatter? The Flash Crisis Slide 15
  17. 17. Scenario #3 You are the communications manager for a trade association that represents the statics industry. You’ve got thousands of Twitter followers .You have an intern on staff operating the Facebook and Twitter pages. In a devastating slip-up, your intern mixes up her personal Twitter with the company’s Twitter and posts this: “The membership at my internship is comprised of the most boring, socially awkward people I’ve ever met. Can’t believe I’m working, unpaid to do data entry and talk to these nerds all day.” The post is being re-tweeted like wildfire. Do you address the mix-up? If so, what is your approach? Later, a reporter from Mashable is on the phone and wants a quote from you about the intern-Twitter disaster. You’ve deleted the post but screenshots are all over the internet. The Flash Crisis Slide 16
  18. 18. Scenario #4You are the social media manager for an organizationinvolved with food safety, sustainability, and promotesorganic farming.One of your corporate partners is a high-profile naturalgrocery chain that claims to sell all-natural, organic products.A group of angry mothers, dissatisfied with the quality of thechain’s produce, have banded together to publicly boycott thecompany. They’ve established a negative hashtag, launched ablog, and are staging protests on both the grocery store’sFacebook, and your own, for your connecting to the company. The Flash Crisis Slide 17
  19. 19. What’s your risk? The Flash Crisis Slide 18
  20. 20. Thank you for your time today!Adele CehrsPresident, Epic PR Group@EpicPRGroupDCwww.epicprgroup.comadele@epicprgroup.com The Flash Crisis Slide 19

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