A case study of crisis communication over social media


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David Chin, Senior Academic Staff at Republic Polytechnic’s Centre for Culture and Communication

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A case study of crisis communication over social media

  1. 1. Case Studies of Social Media In CrisisCommunications David Chin Republic Polytechnic www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  2. 2. Social Media in CrisisComms PR is about managing your corporate reputation… Crisis communications is doing PR under extreme pressure Social media has redefined what extreme pressure is www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  3. 3. The Golden Hour Social media is redefining the Golden Hour You cannot afford to wait until you have all the facts before you issue a holding statement www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  4. 4. SMRT• Braddell-Marina breakdown @ 6:40PM • Public announcement 30 mins later. (Impact est.: 10,000 people)• Circle Line down @ 6:00AM • Public announcement 4 hours later • Radio DJ ticked off for scoop->• SMRT knows how to use SM-> • For income opportunities• But it’s twitter was from 9-6 only ->• And focus was off • Public perception: SMRT more concerned about trains than people
  5. 5. Be (& Sound) Honest Corporate speak responses do not work anymore. Take PR counsel, put your hand to your heart and speak direct to those who are affected. Your choice of words matter. www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  6. 6. Accountability Startsat the Top Airbus “We Screwed Up” “This is us, we screwed that up. We will fix it as quickly as possible and whatever it Tom Enders, Airbus CEO costs, that is something too early to say at this point.”
  7. 7. The 5Ws and 1H Who, Where, What, When, Why and How Deflates attention quickly You must show you know more than those affected… and faster than them www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  8. 8. Say Sorry Sorry (As in I am sorry for the crisis, I take full responsibility, and I am taking needed action now) NOT Sorry (As in I am sorry you feel hurt or I am sorry but I have no comment) www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  9. 9. When ‘sorry’ is Not EnoughThe Straits Times, 15th July 2008 Noting that the inquiry panel report released at the end of May said no rules had been broken, he said bitterly: What we are saying is that there were no rules followed. A lot of decisions were based on judgment calls and - if I may use the word - lousy. The families said they were not looking for monetary compensation, but for an apology from the SDBA and an acknowledgement that it could have done better; that it did not do its best. If this can all be put together, then we can move on. Contacted by The Straits Times, SDBA president Kwek Siew Jin said: „Sorry, I have no comment.‟
  10. 10. Maintaining Your Credibility• Respond fast • The golden hour• Be honest, upfront and accountable • We screwed up; The buck stops with me (Don’t fear criticism)• Don’t play the blame game • It was a mechanical failure; Our service provider was in charge…• Focus on the 5W and 1H • This can deflate interest in your crisis by as much as half• Say sorry properly • Has a disarming effect; = responsibility, not liability
  11. 11. What Not to Say• No Comment • Means you are guilty; have something to hide• Anything you are unsure about • Explosion not equals bomb not equals terrorist attack• Off-the-record • But the people have the right to know!
  12. 12. Blogs vs. Mainstream Media BLOGS & SOCIAL MEDIA Vs. TRADITIONAL MEDIA • - Motivated by self-interest* • - Objective & balanced • - Faster, wider penetration • - Let readers conclude • - Structure & standard to follow • - Editorial checks cause lag * Impact of social media: Public opinion and your brand reputation is now being influenced by people with no ethical standards to follow www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  13. 13. Air Asia Case Study Brand Buzz 1. Compare online 1 3 buzz with your competition 2. Know what’s trending 3. Spike analysis 1 2 www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  14. 14. Air Asia Case Study What’s Trending 1. Focusing on Malaysia only reveals an issue brewing with chatter on AirAsia lawsuit by Aussie regulator 1 1 www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  15. 15. Air Asia Case Study Sentiment Matters 1. Switching over to 1 the sentiment chart shows that the negative chatter started on 24 Jan – the day the lawsuit hit the media.• What could AirAsia have done to address this?• Who and how to engage in your crisis comms plan? www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  16. 16. DBS Case Study Handling Spikes 1 1. First hit 2 2. Second hit• Better, faster response prevents multiple spikes• How do you think you can make the second spike lower? www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  17. 17. DBS Case Study• Keyword: atm 1 Site & Media Analysis 1. Why Singapore Motherhood? 2. What can we do about the blogs• Keyword: atm fraud 2• A crisis can help you identify social media friends, enemies and opportunities www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  18. 18. SMRT Case Study Analysis Essential 1. Spikes about you are not always about you 1 www.worldcontinuitycongress.com
  19. 19. Something to Think About- Do you monitor what’s being said about your brand on social media platforms?- How social media can turn an small issue into a big crisis… in a matter of hours.- Who should be the crisis spokesperson?- When and how to respond?- Are your employees aware of your company’s social media policies?
  20. 20. Remember…• Put public safety and emotional well-being first, never your shareholder value, stock price or fear that taking responsibility = admitting liability• The viral effect of social media can devastate your corporate reputation overnight• Show real concern, responsible action, and radical ownership. Fast.
  21. 21. The Power of Social Media• Do you know what the world is having for breakfast, lunch and dinner now?http://demo.multitu.de/board/
  22. 22. Case Studies of Social Media In CrisisCommunications David Chin Republic Polytechnic david_chin@rp.edu.sg www.worldcontinuitycongress.com