Crisis communication


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Profesor Netzley's speech on Crisis Communication in our Digital Media Class at SMU.

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Crisis communication

  1. 1. Crisis 2.0: Listening and Interacting with the Blogosphere During Difficult Times How Social Media Tools Can Help Mitigate Crises Michael Netzley, PhD CommunicateAsia blog
  2. 2. Always Remember
  3. 3. Key Points
  4. 4. Key Points: Social Media During a Crisis <ul><li>New media and MSM are interrelated </li></ul><ul><li>New media can offer you an early warning </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations must prepare early for the crisis (as always), yet differently </li></ul><ul><li>New media offers you tools for rapid response and correcting factual errors </li></ul><ul><li>New media can crystallize false information </li></ul>
  5. 5. Blogging During a Crisis What kind of bad or ugly news might be the worst form of reputational crisis you can imagine for your company to experience?
  6. 6. Child Porn + [Your Brand]
  7. 7. Events for TOR Servers <ul><li>Sept 7 th , 2006: [Thursday] German police seize many servers in child porn crackdown </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 out of hundreds running TOR software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sept 9 th : [Saturday] German TOR server operator blogged “I am afraid…” TOR being targeted </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looked like TOR was under attack because of child pornography </li></ul></ul><ul><li>September 10 th : [Sunday] Slash Dot reports on the confiscation of TOR servers—speculative! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The reason was “proliferation of child porn” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ no charges have been pressed against TOR operators yet.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Slash Dot a highly rated website </li></ul><ul><li>Next picked up by Boing Boing </li></ul>
  8. 8. TOR’s Response <ul><li>Shava Nerad: Exec Director of TOR; Digital Native; Long-term blogger </li></ul><ul><li>Checked with police to confirm if </li></ul><ul><li>TOR is being targeted—No </li></ul><ul><li>Immediately answered calls from Financial Times , The Standard , Wired , and more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainstream media very reasonable, as was Boing Boing </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. TOR’s Response <ul><li>Gathered legal advice on what to </li></ul><ul><li>say publicly and on website </li></ul><ul><li>Turned to Technorati and wrote to </li></ul><ul><li>relevant website in order of rank </li></ul><ul><li>Spent from Monday morning until 04:00 on Tuesday morning communicating the factual story to each relevant website and journalist </li></ul><ul><li>Digg , Delicious , Google News , and more. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments on websites posting the factual story </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only MSM coverage: nice stories in WSJ and FT . </li></ul>
  10. 10. Preparing: What to Do Beforehand <ul><li>Build SM presence while times are good </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs: external and/or employee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hires SM specialist & engage blogosphere </li></ul><ul><li>Set-up Twitter and Fact pages </li></ul><ul><li>Set-up blog monitoring program </li></ul><ul><li>Preemptive analysis: identify risk exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Update your crisis and media plans </li></ul>
  11. 13. JetBlue Cancels 1,102 Flights Hesitation to cancel during a nasty ice storm Wednesday set off a chain reaction that trapped hundreds of JetBlue passengers on the tarmac for hours, left others waiting in airports without information and enraged thousands of customers. Meanwhile, other airlines' customers at least understood that their flights were canceled and went home or sought other transportation.
  12. 14. JetBlue Apologizes Directly to Public
  13. 15. Acting: What to Do When Crisis Hits <ul><li>Your time limit is maybe 24 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Employ the network you have built </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on channel choice: not all media properties offer you equal voice </li></ul><ul><li>Be prompt, responsive, and continue listening to reactions </li></ul><ul><li>Ask how MSM intersects with new media in this instance </li></ul>
  14. 16. Five Communication Strategies During the Crisis <ul><li>Nonexistence Strategies: denying the existence of a crisis through denial, clarification, or attacking reports. </li></ul><ul><li>Distance Strategies: weaken the link between the crisis and organization through excuses, blaming others, or saying victims deserve it. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Five Communication Strategies During the Crisis <ul><li>Integration Strategies: bolstering the existing reputation, transcending the crisis to a more desirable position, or praising others in order to gain their approval </li></ul><ul><li>Mortification Strategies: create forgiveness and gain acceptance. Gaining public approval by offering compensation, asking for forgiveness, or showing future prevention. </li></ul>
  16. 18. Five Communication Strategies During the Crisis <ul><li>Suffering Strategies: Attempting to portray the organization as a victim and drawing public sympathy or support. </li></ul>Five strategies from Coombs (1999) On-going Crisis Communication .
  17. 19. Crisis: What Not to Do
  18. 20. Crisis and Best Practices <ul><li>Keep an experienced blogger on staff who is already actively engaged in blogosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knows their way around blogosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rapid response </li></ul><ul><li>Know your SM tools: Technorati, Digg,, and more </li></ul><ul><li>Timely tracking via RSS feeds keeps you current [immediate]; rumors need to be dealt with within 24 hours </li></ul>
  19. 21. Best Practices Before a Crisis <ul><li>Proactive Engagement: do not wait until you have an issue; build blogger presence and authority now so you can use it later </li></ul><ul><li>Listening: RSS is the future. Get tuned in now so that you can listen to stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Build Communities: RSS feeds, Facebook groups, podcast subscriptions, and contests are examples of how stakeholders build communities around your company/products </li></ul>
  20. 22. Best Practices During a Crisis <ul><li>Social Media Crisis Planning: Have you accounted for social media in your current crisis plan? If not, then update. </li></ul><ul><li>Sincerity, Transparency, & Consistency: Voice will be all important, and the basic rule of corp comm— consistency —remains </li></ul><ul><li>Host the Conversation: If you are on top of the crisis, then hopefully you can host much on the conversation at your media properties. </li></ul>
  21. 23. Best Practices After a Crisis <ul><li>Measurement: Hopefully your metrics were agreed to in advance. So how did your performance measure up? </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned: Sit down with your team, consultants, and key players. What went well? What did not? </li></ul><ul><li>Update Your Crisis Plan: Implement the lessons you have learned. </li></ul>
  22. 24. Questions?
  23. 25. My Business Card