Preparing a social media crisis response plan

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How to deal with a social media crisis? Find out..

How to deal with a social media crisis? Find out..

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  • 2. “a crisis is “the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes” - Coombs
  • 3. UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS  Reputational risks: Damage to brand and image, mistakes visible to all  Misinformation: Propagation of incorrect/false information, misinterpretation of information, lack of context  Security: Hacking of accounts, gateway for viruses, breach of privacy, redirection of url/posts  Lack of control: Little control over message and sentiment, comments and people misrepresenting the company/brand; inability to retract misinformation; hard to enforce legal & compliance requirements  Employee issues: Release of sensitive information, loss of productivity, inappropriate messages, general lack of understanding of how to use social media
  • 4. SOURCES Internal  Employees/freelancers  Facilities  Vendors/Suppliers/Consultants  Distributors/Resellers/partners  Product External  Acts of Nature  Market  Government  Legal Restrictions/Law  Customers  Advocacy Groups
  • 5. UNDERSTANDING THE FACTORS  Speed of response: In a crisis you have to think quickly, and act quickly  Visibility: The age of being able to hide behind a corporate press statement in response to a crisis is, effectively, gone. The statement plays its part, of course, but a more human and transparent response will come on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and forums. These are highly visible channels, and the effectiveness of a response is judged on them.  Unpredictability: It was hard enough for marketing teams dealing with the press through a crisis, but now we deal directly with the public through social media channels. And members of the public won’t have an objective view; each will bring a personal agenda and emotion to the issue.  Lack of control. It is no more possible to control conversations on social media than it is to control conversations in the home. Corporate control has no place on social pages that are, often, deeply personal.  This is a new industry. That means every action by a company managing a crisis is being watched, scrutinised and analysed. Your peers are learning from your handling of an issue, good and bad.  The boomerang effect. Whatever you do in a crisis could come back to bite you. The temptation is to retreat to a safe place and ignore what’s going on, but the public nature of social media means this isn’t possible any more.
  • 6. PHASES Anticipation Recovery Readiness Response Reassurance Lessons
  • 7. ANTICIPATION AND REHEARSAL  Crisis mapping (sources plus response points)  Full scale rehearsal  Policies, Crisis Team and Procedures  Crisis Monitoring  Crisis Communication Strategy  Crisis Action Plan  Crisis Standard Communications Template  Build Confidence
  • 8. PREPARE  Invest in the right tools: Monitoring and social listening tools will help filter out the information you need to know about from the background chatter.  Crisis team: to handle episodes; preferably including members from  PR and reputation management  Customer service  Corp comm  Marketing  Legal  Tech support  Social media and social listening  Community management
  • 9. PLAN  Define a crisis: what will it look like? “Mayday”  Who all have passwords for your social channels?  Have a social media policy in place for employees and partners  Bank goodwill to buffer your reputation  Severity of crisis should determine the response  Determine channels of engagement during a crisis  Figure out levels of response  Define an escalation path  What do you have to lose – be clear  How long will it take to put this behind you?  Have a situation room  Have clearly defined response roles; with adequate backup
  • 10. RESPONSE  Avoid cover ups – they don’t work and often backfire  Do not deny or accept any allegation immediately  Avoid procrastination  Acknowledge impact and ‘victims’  Commit to investigate  Commit to sharing information and cooperation  Share corrective action plan if available  Respond in the format in which the crisis was received  Authorise community managers to act on your behalf  Check your facts
  • 11. COMMUNICATE  Start with your reputation – initial goodwill level  If you do not necessarily have all of the information at the given time, then say so. Tell them that you are working to get more information  Involve senior management, early on  Tone of communication – consistency across channels  Remember you cannot control the spread of stories on social media  You can only respond  Do not overreact or be extra defensive  Be patient and listen and understand the issue before responding (every issue is not a crisis)
  • 12. RECOVERY AND REASSURANCE  Start with a honest acknowledgement of oversight  Reaffirm commitment to all stakeholders and values  Reaffirm commitment to correction  Demonstrate results in line with commitments  If an active Voice of Customer program is on, leverage it to reach out to customers