Bulldog Media Relations Summit 2009-Crisis And Social Media


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  • We’re going to take a look at how internet driven social media technology has changed the rules of the the game for crisis management.
  • A 15 second plug for our firm, Cone LLCWe are an Omnicom brand strategy and communications agency with close to 100 people, based in BostonWe do four things for companies and large non-profits: Crisis Prevention & ManagementCorporate ResponsibilityMarketing Public RelationsandCause Branding programs
  • Arguably, theMcSpotlight case began the change from crisis management in which journalists were the key external audience, and traditional media were the key external concern….
  • … to a citizen empowered and now citizen connected world in which a whole new form of media have become the key early crisis drivers…
  • …cell phones, pictures and videos, text messages, email, and most recently, social media like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.In countries around the world, information from friends, peers is now more trusted than traditional news media (40’s% versus 30’s- Edelman))In Germany, France and UK, Internet sources are twice as influence as television, and 8 times as influence as print media (Harris)Third party experts on a company are most credible (59%)
  • And so there is Crisis Communication “BC” – Before Connnections, and “AC”- After Connections.Let’s look at how this means communication needs to change…Crisis Communication used to be a one way TRANSMISSION of information. Now it needs to be two way- a DIALOGUEThe goal used to be to CONTROL the information flow. Now the best you can hope for is to INFLUENCE itOften, organizations kept SECRETS and doled out information piecemeal. Now it’s all about TRANSPARENCY.Crisis managers used to work in the world of DEADLINES- now they must respond in REAL TIMEThe tone used to be FORMAL AND CORPORATE. To be credible in the social media world, it needs to be INFORMAL AND PERSONALAnd as we saw a moment ago, while JOURNALISTS remain an important audience, INFLUENCERS AND COMMUNITIES are now the most likely fuel for a crisis in its early stages.
  • Let’s take a quick look at one or two case studies to see how this plays out. How many of you saw the recent Dominos employee videos on You Tube or elsewhere?I’m not going to show the video here, but you get the gist from the headline here on the “Consumerist” blog.Let’s walk through the timeline of what happened a few weeks ago.Dominos communicators are notified… but confine their responses to the blog readers contacting them. They hope to limit the spread by not telling a wider audience. And they try to knock the videos off the Net before too many people can see them. But things move too quickly…Internet users identify the store location before Dominos does!
  • Despite knocking the video off You Tube, almost a million people saw it through other means-mostly copies (just like McSpotlight website was mirrored 13 years ago, but now anyone can do it!).And Dominos finally takes its own voice public with Twitter posts and a You Tube video after the media story is out, and after a million viewsPLAY VIDEO
  • Here is an analysis of the impact of Dominos communicators finally speaking out on Twitter. We did this using social media monitoring and analysis software called Radian6.The blue vertical line shows the moment when Dominos began posting. And the yellow vertical is when their You Tube apology video went live and they started talking about it. You can see that tweets using negative words- such as NEVER go to Dominos again, and DISGUSTING drop significantly, while more positive words such as APOLOGY and YOU TUBE skyrocket. This is what we meant a few slides back by the idea of influencing the dialogue. But to influence it, you have to participate, respond, and do it where people are talking, not just on your corporate homepage.
  • A few lessons from this crisis:It’s quaint, but unrealistic, to hope that if you only talk to the people who contact you, no one else will learn about a salicious video or internet posting. Those days are over. Communications to a broad audience-especially online- must happen in those first hours. Actions don’t speak louder than words if no one knows about themYou can’t keep secrets anymore… like which Dominos store was involved. You will face competition from online sleuths to find the facts and uncover the truth. You have to act fast. And one more… every company needs to give its employees clear direction about what is off-limits in online postings. You can’t order people not to blog or post videos- but you can tell them not to disclose company secrets, defame their employer, or show areas off limits to the public. If you don’t tell them that, some may not be smart enough to figure it out on their own.
  • By contrast, look at how quickly and nimbly Ford’s social media guru handled a budding crisis involving a pickup truck website. Turns out it was selling Ford decals without permission. The company’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter bomb, demanding the guy running the site shut it down and pay the company $5,000.The guy, Jim Oakes, instead posted the Ford letter on his website in the evening, and started to Tweat, and hundreds of people jumped into the conversation. Because Ford has a social media guy, Scott Monty, he became aware of the smoke quickly, and jumped in as soon as he woke up, posting over 100 times that day on twitter about his efforts to talk with Ford lawyers and Jim Oaks to resolve the dispute. Because he did that, and people saw the company was engaged, the story did not morph to mainstream media.It was resolved in less than 24 hours, and never became a cause celebre.(December 9, 2008, a ten year old Ford fan site called The Ranger Station)
  • Lessons here:Monitor- can be free services such as google blogs or technorati or twitter search, or paid services that do more sorting and analyzing. The problem was discovered because Scott was paying attention and caught wind of the issue.Establish an online presence- Can be a person like scottmonty at ford, or whats called a Groupware website like my starbucks idea, or a customer service personnalike comcast cares on twitter. Scott has 5600 followers on Twitter before the problem arose. Real Time: Acted all day and right away and kept posting 138 times. Crisis was extinguished within 22.5 hoursRespond where the action is: The old days of posting on the corp. website and faxing/emailing to news media have been surplanted by today, where you need to be part of the most influential groups conversations where they are taking place.Fix what’s broken: In a crisis, the BS alarm goes off even faster online than it traditionally has in mainstream journalism. Skeptics and critics have lots of time and space online to second guess a company’s actions, and ask questions that used to end up on the cutting room floor. You have to deal with the problem, not try to deflect it. And you have to act fast.
  • Bulldog Media Relations Summit 2009-Crisis And Social Media

    1. 1. Lightning Response: Surviving the First 24 Hours of Crisis Mike Lawrence EVP, Cone www.coneinc.com May 18, 2009 Confidential and Proprietary 1
    2. 2. About Cone Market Position: 28-year-old, globally recognized brand strategy and communications agency Mission: To be a catalyst for achieving better business and greater good Strengths: 90+ professionals with expertise in: • Crisis Prevention & Management • Corporate Responsibility • Brand Marketing • Cause Brandingsm Affiliation: Member of The Omnicom Group (NYSE: OMC) Confidential and Proprietary 2
    3. 3. Journalists Confidential and Proprietary 3
    4. 4. Friends and Peers Confidential and Proprietary 4
    5. 5. Friends and Peers Confidential and Proprietary 5
    6. 6. Crisis Communication “BC” (Before Connections) and “AC” BC AC Transmissions Dialogue Control Influence Secrecy Transparency Deadlines Real Time Formal/Corporate Informal/Personal Journalists Influencers/Communities Adapted from Shel Holtz, blog.holtz.com/ Confidential and Proprietary 6
    7. 7. Case Study: Domino’s Pizza Day 1 0:00 •Video Posted to You Tube 4:30 •Video on “GoodAsYou” blog. Blogger notifies Dominos. VP of communications responds that security has been notified. 8:30 •Video on “Consumerist” blog 8:30 •Video link on Twitter and chatter begins 10:30 •Blog readers identify store location in Charlotte, NC using Google satellite images and email Dominos corporate 11:30 •YouTube account closed but video still visible elsewhere via copies 11:45 •Dominos Corporate tells “Consumerist” blog reader it is alerting security to the location. 13:30 •“Consumerist” blog readers alert television station in Charlotte 22:30 •Dominos Corporate tells “Consumerist” blog reader employees will be fired. Confidential and Proprietary 7
    8. 8. Case Study: Domino’s Pizza Day 1 0:00 •You Tube post Day 2 4:30 •Domino’s notified 31:00 •Local news report: (Charlotte TV) 8:30 •Chatter begins 33:30 •Twitter is updated by AdAge post 8:30 •Video on blog 45:00 •Multiple national news reports (TODAY, NYT, etc.) 10:30 •Store identified 48:00 •Video views estimated at nearly 1 million 11:30 •YouTube closed 48:30 •Domino’s Corporate begins to post on Twitter 11:45 •Security called in 53:30 •Domino’s response video on YouTube, Facebook 13:30 •TV station notified 22:30 •Employee fired Confidential and Proprietary 8
    9. 9. Case Study: Domino’s Pizza Note: Apology incorporates apologize and apologizes Confidential and Proprietary 9
    10. 10. Case Study: Dominos Pizza Lessons Corporate Communications Initially Too Timid for a virally connected world Need to Act is More Time Compressed - online “detectives” can sleuth as fast as you Social Media Policy Needed for Employees Confidential and Proprietary 10
    11. 11. Case Study: Ford Legal Action Against Website DAY 1 December 9, 2008 Jim Oakes posts Ford’s letter on The Ranger 6:10 PM Station’s user forum, sparking comments DAY 2 December 10, 2008 1:30 AM (Discovery) 7:29 AM (Response) 11:31 AM 4:55 PM Total Crisis 4:56 PM 22:26:00 Confidential and Proprietary 11
    12. 12. Case Study: Ford Legal Action Against Website Monitor for Early Detection Have an online presence and crisis plan Respond in near real-time Be direct, transparent, and informal Respond where the action is Fix what’s broken Adapted from Ron Ploof, www.ronaok.com Confidential and Proprietary 12
    13. 13. Questions? Mike Lawrence EVP, Cone mlawrence@coneinc.com www.coneinc.com/whatdoyoustandfor www.coneinc.com/brandchanneler Confidential and Proprietary 13