Crisis Communications in the Social Age


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This presentation documents how I used an employee social intranet, a customer community, and social media channels to resolve a product crisis.

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  • A few months later, Jive launched a new website, new branding, and hosted a big financial analyst event in NYC for the launch of the upgraded product. The execs were on site talking to press and promoting the fact that the product was now free. Great news coverage started to get released.
  • Meanwhile on the West Coast…Deirdre woke up to a cryptic tweet about someone having a lack of response from the Jive contact Us form. Publically responded and posted in our social intranet for internal answers.
  • Quickly this one tweet turned into 100s hour
  • People started complaining about everything from not being able to accss their serviceTo wanting a refundTo disliking the new stars in the User InterfaceQuickly negative sentiment began to take over. Discovered a product upgrade planned for the analyst event was going horribly wrong.
  • The first step was for the social team to centralize and coordinate internal and external communications through our social intranet, customer community and social media channels. Each of these channels had distinct purposes.
  • The social intranet helped share feedback on both product specifics and business opinions.
  • Next social intranet helped align corporate messagingDeirdre posted realtime statements for use by sales, PR and other externally-facing roles.
  • Social intranet also helped align action items – everything from product updates to executive statements could be requested and tracked.
  • Then, we turned to our external community.We created a special area just for this issue. We had regular communications from execs and product experts and funneled all social media questions to this contained area.
  • Next we started offering realtime online support to these usersEasy to see what has been answered and what hasn’t.
  • Finally, we created easy ways for people to share ideas and to get answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Social media was our most active real time channel. By leveraging all 3 together we were able to change brand perception (read above)
  • As you can see Deirdre’s small team of 3 had a lot of work cut out for them but by deploying this unified solution, were able to quickly address users issues.
  • Crisis Communications in the Social Age

    1. 1. + Crisis Communications in the Digital Age Deirdre Walsh Marketing Director
    2. 2. + The Reaction When I start talking to executives about crisis communications in the digital age, I often get a response like this guy! That’s because people have one definition of a “social crisis.” They imagine situations like….
    3. 3. + Employee Tweets Something Inappropriate from a Brand Channel
    4. 4. + Employee Isn’t Transparent
    5. 5. + Marketing Doesn’t “Get It.”
    6. 6. + BUT…..Social Can Be Your Best Friend During a Crisis And I should know. 6
    7. 7. + In My Role, I’ve….  Lead communications strategy and execution for several issues around products, financials, litigation, natural disasters, investigative journalism, environmental issues, etc.  Trained more than 100 executives and public officials worldwide on how to handle communications in high-pressure environments  Provided internal and external clients with dynamic crisis simulation exercises 7
    8. 8. + Case Study: Product(eev) Issue 8
    9. 9. + In 2012, my company, Jive, acquired the task-management tool Producteev. Adopted by more than 100,000 businesses and 1 million people
    10. 10. + The press and analyst coverage was very positive.
    11. 11. + A few months later, in true marketing fashion, we created a new logo, launched a new website, and hosted a big press event in NYC.
    12. 12. + On May 21, I Woke Up To This….  I didn’t know the user. I didn’t know what he was referencing (we do lots of acquisitions). I didn’t even know who managed the website Contact Us form.  So I turned to our employee network to get some answers and then publically responded.
    13. 13. + But the Social Swarming Began
    14. 14. + And I Watched Twitter Explode Producteev end users took to social channels to complain. There were big issues like, “I can’t access my service” and “I want a refund since the product is now free” to “I don’t like the stars in the UI.” For the first time in company history, our sentiment was negative.
    15. 15. + My Team was Spread Across the Country so I Turned to Social. 15 PR Team Community Managers Social Media Managers Me Support and Product Teams
    16. 16. + Employee Intranet I Used Social Technologies to Centralize & Coordinate Communications. Customer Community Social Media
    17. 17. + Social Intranet: Share Insights
    18. 18. + Social Intranet: Corporate Alignment
    19. 19. + Social Intranet: Action Items
    20. 20. + Customer Community: Updates JIVE CMO
    21. 21. + Customer Community: Support
    22. 22. + Customer Community: Product Ideas & FAQ
    23. 23. + Social Media: Real-Time Communications Changed sentiment through open communications and strategic coordination.
    24. 24. + Results By the Numbers  Became the command center. Updated current messaging for employees, specifically support and sales. Additionally provided regular customer updates.  The actual product issue lasted 8 days but we were able to change sentiment to positive by day 1 and level out the volume of social conversation by day 4.  Sent more than 400 personal messages on Facebook and Twitter answering questions, addressing concerns, providing updates  Monitored and addressed 300 unique discussion threads and 500 new users in the Producteev group in the online community
    25. 25. + Want to Learn More about How Social Can Streamline Your Crisis Communications Efforts? Connect with me!