Handling a Corporate Communications Crisis via Social Media

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Case study and guidelines for handling a corporate communications crisis via social media. This is a presentation I created and have delivered at various conferences including at GSMI's Social Media Strategies Summits.

For more social media mc nuggets, check out my blog at www.thebaochi.com

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Handling a Corporate Communications Crisis via Social Media

  1. 1. Social Media &Corporate Crisis Communications Baochi Nguyen // Boingo Wireless
  2. 2. Social Media: the Core of Crisis Communications• In the past, corporate communication teams had time to plan a response to a crisis: team meeting >> press release >> news conference• Now, in the social web era, crisis news can erupt in a 140-character statement, multiplying exponentially as it spreads across the globe within minutes – communication driven primarily by the public © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 2
  3. 3. Social Media: the Core of Crisis Communications• Today, when a crisis erupts, there’s a good chance the news is all over Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, the blogosphere, etc.• The discussions are public, permanent and viral• When people are talking about your brand, head straight to the epicenter of the conversation “Fight social media fire with social media water.” - Jay Baer and Amber Naslund Authors of The Now Revolution, a good book on social media © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 3
  4. 4. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyOn April 10, 2010 (a Saturday), an email test went awry,sending many Boingo customers an inaccurate message thatindicated their flat-rate Boingo monthly subscription had beencancelled and transferred over to a pay-as-you go plan © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 4
  5. 5. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 1 - 1:25pm !First wave of complaint tweets roll in. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 5
  6. 6. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 1 - 1:25pmMarketing and management teams notified of potential email glitch.Investigation begins but meanwhile, no specific information available tocommunicate exact issue to customers. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 6
  7. 7. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 1 – 1:35pmProactive message posted to Facebook mentioning email issue (but no specificinformation immediately available yet). Updates posted throughout the day asmore info surfaces. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 7
  8. 8. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 1 – 1:36pmTwitter dialogue throughout the day…hundreds of tweets. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 8
  9. 9. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 1 – 6:00pm 2:30pmMessage of Apology from CEO posted to front page of teamEmail blast glitch with invalid info confirmed by Boingocorporate site,www.boingo.com © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 9
  10. 10. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 1 – 8:00pmNew IVR message on Customer Support telephone line explainingemail mistake, instructing users to check accounts online, andproviding option to talk to customer care agent. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 10
  11. 11. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 2 – 8:00amMarketing and customer care teams respond to every individual communication– support emails, Facebook posts, and Tweet. This becomes a week-long effort. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 11
  12. 12. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 2 – 11:00amMarketing team and CEO prepare email apology to all recipients of errantemail, but email system must be first fixed in order to “safely” send emailapology. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc Page 12
  13. 13. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 2 – 8:00pmCommon questions and complaints addressed in blog post. Tweets andFacebook posts go out with link to blog FAQs. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 13
  14. 14. The Boingo Email Snafu Case StudyDay 3 – 8:00amApology email from CEO sent to all recipients of errant email. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 14
  15. 15. Corrective Actions• Tweeted and posted Facebook message about the email mistake• Monitored and replied to complaints via Twitter• Posted blog entry with FAQs culled from social media channels and replied to every resulting comment• Posted an apology letter from CEO on the front page of the corporate website with a link to the blog• Emailed letter of apology from CEO• Replied to every customer email and blog posts• Recorded new IVR message on support line with apology and explanation to allay the fears of those calling in about the test email © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 15
  16. 16. How the Community Responded © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 16
  17. 17. Key LessonsExpediencyLet the community know immediately there is a problem,even when the exact issue has not been determinedResponsivenessProvide regular updates on the progress of the issue, andanswer all individual comments and questions across allchannelsTransparencyBe as honest as possible about the issue: what went wrong,how was it solved, and how will customers be affected?ContritenessOwn up to the mistake and ask for forgiveness. © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 17
  18. 18. Crisis Communications #FTW • Owning up and apologizing • Answering questions • Debunking rumors • Issuing updates • Being authentic • Being responsive • Maximizing number of communications channels © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 18
  19. 19. Crisis Communications #Fail • Not acknowledging your mistake • Ignoring conversations • Waiting to respond • Being dishonest • Speaking in corporate speak • Reacting negatively • Relying on only one or a few communication platforms • Deleting customer/community comments © 2011 Boingo Wireless, Inc. Page 19
  20. 20. your name | your titleboingo wireless | 10960 wilshire blvd., suite 800 | los angeles, ca 90024your phone number | your email address@boingo.com

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