IntroductionMany of out clients consider open social conversations around their brandpotentially dangerous to their brand reputation.We think that any brand with a good product or organisation with good,transparent activities should openly engage in on-line conversations with theirsupporters. We do understand though that occasionally there might be a crisissituation which requires pre-deﬁned process of handling it.In this document we are sharing process prepared based on years ofexperience of all Voice team members in order to provide you with conﬁdenceto enter the on-line conversations and be ready to any potential unplannedevent.
Unplanned events process Below you can see an example process of handling unplanned event.Alert iden*ﬁca*on: Ini*al insights: No*ﬁca*on: An employee iden=ﬁes An employee An employee no=ﬁes unplanned event related to iden=ﬁes line manager, Senior brand reputa=on. circumstances of alert. Management. Documenta*on & Response: Inves*ga*on: Monitoring: Representa=ve of Senior Management, Assigned employee Senior Management line manager and documents the crisis and follows up (public employee inves=gate monitors places where it statement, response the alert to deﬁne occurred for responses. to direct cri=cism, appropriate response. personal message). Oﬀ-‐line contact might be required.
Response to positive feedback- guidelinesVery oLen we see brand and organisa=ons ignoring posi=ve feedback, ideas of their supporters or genuine interest in helping the brand. We strongly encourage you to follow them up! Pending the circumstances your response should contain following elements: • Thank you– ‘We are happy you ﬁnd our project valuable to your own blog...’ • Acknowledgement and explana*on of our processes– ‘...we are trying our best to plan our ac=vi=es to bring value to all...’ • Gentle way of re-‐direc*ng aEen*on to areas one can get involved in – ‘...if you want more content, check our blog...’ • Reference to your work, or speciﬁc ac*ons– ‘...for tag ‘eco’ to ﬁnd similar campaigns you can join..’ • Explana*on of process, as openly as possible – ‘..if you decide to, send us an e-‐mail – we would not like to spam you;)..’ • Reassurance on follow up and actual follow up – ‘..we will get back to you immediately’. • Signature: name, surname, role, direct availability.
Response to negative feedback- guidelinesIn order to address poten=al threat to brand reputa=on the response needs to contain following elements: • Apologies – ‘We are terribly sorry for our mistake...’ (if applies) • Acknowledgement – ‘...we understand how you feel about this...’ • Firm explana*on of our approach – ‘...however we did our best to ensure...’ • Reference to speciﬁc procedures, ethics – ‘...transparency of our ini=al e-‐mail...’ • Explana*on of process, as openly as possible – ‘using disclosure and copy explaining in advance what the campaign’s goals are’ • Reassurance on follow up – ‘Incorpora=ng your feedback, we have educated our team to reinforce our methodology and ethics to ensure good communica=on’. • Signature: name, surname, role at the organisa=on, direct availability It is advised to use posi=ve terminology, refer to private communica=on and procedures as well as arguments which stop the ﬂow of nega=ve comments, do not provoke new responses.
ExamplesHere is an example of wrong handling of criticism. Threatening your fans todelete their comments is not a sign of respect, specially if they are right.
ExamplesHere is an example of good handling of criticism and crisis. The agencyinvolved knew that their involvement with the brand suffering huge brandreputation crisis might affect agency image too. The director posted thismessage to clarify agency involvement and additional support provided to theirclient.
ExamplesHere is an example of good handling of potential brand crisis. Customer careperson working on Facebook page notices the issue (ActionAid UK’s sponsorrelated to Innocent Smoothies/Coca-Cola’s unethical on-line behaviour),notiﬁes PR team, all investigate, draft and post the response.
ExamplesHere is an example of good handling of opportunities posted on-line instead offalling into the trap of fake brand crisis. After this post ActionAid was contactedby an inﬂuential beer blogger, sent him the beermats to create more contentfor their cause.
And ﬁnally……remember that times, tools and people change. All your procedures need tobe clearly communicated to all teams involved, embedded in your HRprocesses and regularly updated.It also helps to cultivate supportive culture instead of blaming one. Teach yourteam to talk about mistakes and learn from them to prepare for any good orbad unexpected event that might occur on-line.With this conﬁdence in place they will represent your brand on-line moreeffectively.
ContactIf you have any comments please contact:Sylwia PresleyE-mail: email@example.comMobile: 07850 138 178Twitter: @presleysylwia and @nfpvoiceSkype: sylwia.presley