com.motion University: Crisis Communications

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com.motion University Module: How to be prepared to manage an online crisis or issue.

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  • Something I learnt from going to an army school: Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
  • Technology as a facilitator of the message
  • Key word searches can provide early insight into what may be coming – this is true before, during and after a crisis. Monitoring is vital – the media will be monitoring to see what is being said about a key issue so so should you. Take the time before the storm to identify your influencers and who can influence your stakeholders This can be a person, a blog or a community If you have a facebook page, twitter feed, youtube channel etc set up before you need it, it can save you valuable time AND help you decide what content you may need to produce in support of your messages.
  • Build relationships before you need them Set up and build a following in relevant communities before you need to Prepare message templates for as many eventualities as you can. If you need to send emails/letters/text messages out, you don’t need to waste time with graphic or copy templates Always have a plan b, a plan c and a plan d – what if your server is overwhelmed with traffic (v-tech) or if your site is victim of a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS)
  • The online and social media space is unique in that it allows you to speak with your stakeholders directly, bypassing the traditional media. The Internet is increasingly real time – which means your communications can be as well. Once you start talking, what happens when people talk back both online and offline? Need to ensure adequate resourcing for ongoing monitoring and response – this is where an agency can help ;-) How quickly could you be up and running with a fully functional, feature rich site, if needed? Without anything in the wings you could waste days getting a presence set up. Consider not only having a dark site page, but a “blog in a box” which you can roll out at a moment’s notice.
  • In a world where information is a commodity, and everyone can self-publish, your goal is to become THE trusted, go-to resource on whatever issue you are facing. If you aren’t the trusted resource, it means someone else is telling your story for you. You can’t confine your updates and messages to your site – you must go where your stakeholders (students) go in order for your message to be heard. Again, monitoring can help you define where you need to go. Monitoring helps you ensure your message is being seen by the right people. Events always unfold in unexpected ways: I’ve seen class action lawyers were buy key word ads on google and other key search engines – you should be aware of this possibility and be aware how you can neutralize this
  • Once the communication channel is open, you have made a commitment. To uphold that commitment you must Over communicate Respond in real time – not by committee Be honest and transparent
  • Three questions to consider – Do you need to be first to start talking about an issue? Advantage often goes to the first mover and you do not want to be “scooped”. But do you want to the ones bringing an issue to the fore? If you are responding to an issue, how quickly should that happen? Increasingly it should be in real time – where possible. If you are first, and if you respond fast, what does that do to the integrity of the facts? You have to balance the need to feed the now continuous news cycle and content monster (otherwise know as bloggers) with the need to provide accurate information. The only thing worse than not providing real time updates is dying a death of a thousand cuts if you need to constantly correct inaccuracies in your own content
  • Some options you could use to communicate with your students. Are all of these set up and ready to go? Do you have every stakeholder’s contact details? Do you have permission to reach out to them with that medium? How quickly can I, as a stakeholder, get a message from you, the organization, from right now? Minutes? Hours? Days?
  • The conversation doesn’t stop when I leave your Web site. Hundreds, thousands of outside forces are influencing the story – introducing new and possibly inaccurate facts. Counteracting these mistruths where they are propagated is essential. Social media works both ways – while you can work to use social media to disseminate your message, people will talk back and you need to respond to them. Social and traditional media are intertwined – if a blogger is outspoken or becomes a trusted source on a subject, the media will reach out to them. Best for them to have your messages before this happens.
  • com.motion University: Crisis Communications

    1. 1. com.motion University: Online Crisis and Issues Management Everything you need to know about managing online crises and issues management…except the experience
    2. 2. <ul><li>Offline Crisis Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional news cycle is compressing </li></ul><ul><li>Message and delivery is key </li></ul><ul><li>Media are gatekeepers </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tomorrow’s fish wrapper” </li></ul><ul><li>Limited influencers </li></ul><ul><li>Online Crisis Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Events unfold at the speed of light </li></ul><ul><li>Content and multimedia is king </li></ul><ul><li>Go direct to stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Permanently archived influence on organization’s reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Infinite influencers </li></ul>
    3. 3. MESSAGE LEADS THE TECHNOLOGY <ul><li>One Rule: </li></ul>
    4. 4. The Role of the Online Channel <ul><li>Early Warning System </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Channel to Stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Archive of Issue </li></ul>
    5. 5. Early Warning System <ul><li>Monitor for key words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Before </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>During </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>After </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify online influencers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To your stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identify online communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>that your stakeholders visit </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Forewarned is Forearmed <ul><li>Build relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Set up online presence in communities </li></ul><ul><li>Allows crisis communications to be turnkey </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible templates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predetermined holding messages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan B/C/D </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What if your online presence is crippled/part of the crisis? </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Direct Channel To Stakeholders <ul><li>Online/Social channels provide real time communication with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Owners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry Partners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to communicate; not broadcast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who will deal with email/phone calls/online conversation? </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Direct Channel To Stakeholders <ul><li>Become the trusted resource on the issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create and engage a community </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t confine updates to your Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate with people where they go </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Direct Channel To Stakeholders <ul><li>Over communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Respond & recalibrate messages in real time </li></ul><ul><li>Honest, transparent updates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Say what you are saying to the media, online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use technologies your stakeholders are using </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider co-creation opportunities for updates “in the field” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site must be flexible enough to handle multiple, iterative updates </li></ul>
    10. 10. Permanent Archive <ul><li>Whatever you do will be archived, in your words or someone else’s, forever </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your actions and decisions can be defended as they will be dissected in the future </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who doesn’t love playing armchair quarterback? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Challenges <ul><li>The four Fs you should say and ask in every crisis or issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>F*&^ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should you be first to enter the information space? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How fast should you respond to an issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How flawed will your information/position be? </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Thought Starters <ul><li>What technology will you use to communicate with your stakeholders? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS text message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web site </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Thought Starters <ul><li>How will you handle social media? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Web sites? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog posts? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engines? </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS BOTH WAYS <ul><li>A final thought for those facing an online crisis or issue: </li></ul>
    15. 15. Want more information? <ul><li>Ed Lee </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Director </li></ul><ul><li>com.motion Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Lynn Eastep </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Vice President </li></ul><ul><li>com.motion North America </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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