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Crisis at the Speed of Light


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How to handle crisis communications in the era of social and digital media. crisis communications now operates at the speed of light, in a transparent world that brands do not control. What should you do and how is this different than crisis during the conventional media era.

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Crisis at the Speed of Light

  1. 1. Crisis at the speed of light….
  2. 2. Speed of Light: 186,000 miles per second
  3. 3. <ul><li>You can’t know precisely where crisis will come from. That’s why it’s called a crisis… </li></ul>
  4. 4. Being Prepared IS Everything…
  5. 5. “ If you can’t get a video of your CEO on YouTube within 3 hours, anytime of day or night, you are not ready.” Jason Baer
  6. 6. Paradigm shift: Spokesperson to media gatekeepers
  7. 7. New world order: You are not in control…
  8. 8. “ Technology is shifting the power away from editors, publishers, the establishment, the media elite. Now it’s the people who are in control.” Rupert Murdoch
  9. 9. Your Crisis Challenge… <ul><li>Unexpected, unauthorized and vetted leakage </li></ul><ul><li>Damage by perception </li></ul><ul><li>Photos, comments, conversation that conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>Repurposed statements </li></ul><ul><li>Confusion </li></ul>
  10. 10. The way we were…. <ul><li>House fire every 30 seconds in the US… </li></ul>
  11. 11. Over $120 million in product liability lawsuits in three months…
  12. 12. <ul><ul><li>Integrated response team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior management involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal counsel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside experts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lives saved testimonials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Government agency support </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Challenge: media analysis and interpretation… </li></ul>
  14. 14. Familiar response vehicles… <ul><ul><li>Deep background, off record interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outside expert sound bites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Press conferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Counter-offensive media – lives saved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Satellite feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports, studies, quote-able sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing demonstrations </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>What’s changed? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Time – speed of light </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media – people-driven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who’s in control – they are </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Social Crisis Management
  17. 18. The evolution of how we do business… <ul><li>Marketing – the talkers </li></ul><ul><li>Customer service – the listeners </li></ul><ul><li>Social media – huh?? The conversation-ers?? </li></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><li>93% of social media users want companies to have an on-line presence…now! </li></ul>
  19. 20. Brand Trust Ladder INVASIVE Telemarketing, spam PUSH Ads, promos, direct mail AUTHENTIC Experiences Events VALIDATION Trusted Influencers Character of Customer Interaction Communication ROI Relationship Driven Transactional Tuned Out Engaged Trusted Disbelief
  20. 21. <ul><li>The “full duplex” conversation… </li></ul>
  21. 22. Social media is word of mouth on steroids <ul><li>Social media can create and solve crises </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>If Facebook were a country it would be larger than Japan. </li></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>As of July there were 23 million users on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Three million Tweets per day </li></ul>
  24. 25. Viral communication happens… <ul><li>Is today your – </li></ul><ul><li>Dominos </li></ul><ul><li>United Airlines </li></ul><ul><li>Motrin </li></ul><ul><li>Pork Board </li></ul><ul><li>Dell??? </li></ul>
  25. 26. Social Web alters communications landscape… <ul><li>Tweets on Swine Flu exceed 10,000 per hour </li></ul>
  26. 27. Crisis Constants… <ul><li>Perception leads reality </li></ul><ul><li>Fear drives perception </li></ul><ul><li>Messages/images promulgate fear </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Communication now in visual, verbal and video form is instantaneous, global, track-able, available 24/7 and permanent… </li></ul>
  28. 29. The new rules: <ul><li>What you say IS the message… </li></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>The Good News </li></ul><ul><li>Your message conveyed without filter instantly, everywhere… </li></ul><ul><li>The Bad News </li></ul><ul><li>Not everyone will like it and you will hear about it… </li></ul>Social Media
  30. 31. Caution … <ul><li>Transparency: if it can be known, it will! </li></ul>
  31. 32. <ul><li>Social media platforms do not intersect… </li></ul><ul><li>It is a collection of unique city-states… </li></ul>
  32. 33. A new strategic approach … <ul><li>Flashpoint Response: </li></ul><ul><li>Tweet to Tweet </li></ul><ul><li>On Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Blog to Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Video to Video </li></ul>
  33. 34. Dominoes big disconnect: press release response to a video
  34. 35. <ul><li>Lesson #1: on-line listening now!! </li></ul><ul><li>Radian6 </li></ul><ul><li>Cision </li></ul><ul><li>Spiral16 </li></ul>
  35. 36. <ul><li>Lesson #2: </li></ul><ul><li>Fight fire with fire!! </li></ul>
  36. 37. <ul><li>Crisis messaging: </li></ul><ul><li>Humanization of leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Plain speaking </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Responsiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty </li></ul>
  37. 38. <ul><li>It’s about conversational communication… </li></ul>
  38. 39. <ul><li>So how does this work? </li></ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul><ul><li>Respond </li></ul><ul><li>Repeat </li></ul>
  39. 40. Your new response tool kit… <ul><ul><li>Social media platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photo gallery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whitepapers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts and credible third parties </li></ul></ul>
  40. 41. <ul><li>Your crisis infrastructure: </li></ul><ul><li>Web platform construction in-house </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter embassy </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook presence </li></ul><ul><li>Listening tools and monitoring </li></ul>
  41. 42. <ul><li>Your crisis team: </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy experts </li></ul><ul><li>Message makers </li></ul><ul><li>Content creators </li></ul><ul><li>Legal </li></ul>
  42. 43. Vital step: Internal media policy Parallel employee communication
  43. 44. <ul><li>Honesty is the right policy… </li></ul>
  44. 45. <ul><li>Bob Wheatley </li></ul><ul><li>Wheatley & Timmons, Inc </li></ul><ul><li>312-755-6200 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul>