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Crisis 2 0 social media crisis notes


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What can you do when things go wrong? This document includes some steps you can take, and scenarios to consider, to stop the negative, earn new fans and generate a positive outcome

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Crisis 2 0 social media crisis notes

  1. 1. 1 CRISIS 2.0 Social media: Engagement, Measurement and Monitoring
  2. 2. Contents 2 Summary 3 1 Introduction 5 2 Tools 6 3 Plan 7 4 Crises 2.0 8 5 Crisis team 21 6 Social media monitoring 23 7 Crisis planning 28 8 Managing your reputation 31 9 Trends in purchase intention 32 10 Social media policy 36 11 Crisis checklist 37 12 Key points 39
  3. 3. Summary 3 What can go wrong? Real resources are required for digital marketing. Lack of skills to maintain digital accounts and lack of manpower – if someone leaves, or is too busy and just dabbling can be harmful to the brand and voice of the company/Firm. The open nature of social media means that anyone can create an account at any time and from anywhere. Cyber and technology related crimes, identity hacks, malicious hacks, fraud, misuse of company information, spam, unauthorised and fake accounts and accounts that do not adhere to your brand can all cause harm. What can you do when things go wrong? You need to have control over your social presence: Formulate a ‘Response Assessment’ chart; and refer to ‘Crisis Team’ or ‘Crisis Planning’ charts. Implement controls to govern digital channels, including discovery capability (inventory of passwords, users and devices used); monitor staff who are authorised to speak for the business; archive of social data records; and provide staff training. In circumstances where digital accounts have been compromised or irreversibly damaged, you should either lock down, report the problem to the service/suspend the account, or take the service down.
  4. 4. Summary 4 How to respond? PR (internal and external) A general rule of thumb is that if the situation affects the masses, keep the discussion online. Your Communications or Crisis Team should prepare a statement or plan of action and see it through. If the situation is personal and relates to a minority, take it offline to a more appropriate form of communication – making personal contact. What are the cyber risks? Since social channels are not directly linked to your servers nor part of your IT infrastructure. Protecting your social infrastructure is more a question of brand, reputation and governance.
  5. 5. 1.0 Introduction 5 Social media - Engagement, Measurement and Monitoring The way we work and manage our reputation is changing and evolving rapidly. Whether your audience, contacts, followers or critics are in the next building or on the other side of the world, the social media landscape is a powerful and influential channel for your business. We have a multitude of channels to use in communicating our brand, services and promises. Articulating your brand is key to success. Understanding the nuances of media platforms, and how to utilise and manage them is essential. A global brand or unifying thought needs to be translated in a local market and delivered in an appropriate and relevant way for that market. Social media provides us with tools to assist in understanding local markets and building from the client, stakeholders, and audience up. What is a crisis? A crisis by definition represents something serious for a business that goes beyond the normal and threatens its operations, strategic objectives, reputation and even survival. Consequently, a crisis demands decisive action, and sometimes at the highest level of an organisation to minimise the impacts. In the event of crises, it is important that we understand what can be solved by clear communication, and what can’t. When a crisis occurs. It is no more possible to control the message that spreads through social networks than it is to control the medium over which it travels.
  6. 6. 2.0 Tools 6 Use appropriate tools/materials that are fit for purpose for the media channel and audience Plan all communications and campaigns thoroughly - measure and monitor progress, success, effectiveness, and popularity; what works, what doesn’t work. Do not push out materials without carefully thinking about your goals, the audience and recipients, and how you might leverage the platform, move the conversation forward, deal with responses, follow-up with requests/questions and monitor the medium. Do not be afraid to test your communications and campaigns, and use metrics to determine the success of your campaign. Keep a record/log of all communications.
  7. 7. 3.0 Plan 7 Have a plan for dealing with and responding to crises and offer solutions No matter what service you provide, what you sell, or what industry you’re in, you’re going to experience either mistakes, crisis or negative word of mouth. It just happens. Remember: Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. So get out there and embrace the negativity. Start responding. This document includes some steps you can take, and scenarios to consider, to stop the negative, earn new fans and generate a positive outcome.
  8. 8. 4.0 Crises 2.0 8 Crisis generated or exacerbated by both media and netizens on social media platforms Crises spread faster and farther on microblogs than they do in traditional media. Negative news can be posted anytime, from anywhere, by anyone. Senior executives negative comments can negatively impact their companies. Microblogs offer crisis instigators and defendants the opportunity to respond quickly. If defendants fail to react fast enough, and in a manner that satisfies netizens, this can easily trigger a subsequent crisis, or aftershock. 3Cs Principle of Crisis Management The following diagram illustrates a crisis management framework in the microblog era: Source: 2012 OgilvyPR . CIC – crisis management in the microblog era
  9. 9. 4.0 Crises 2.0 9 The 7Cs of effective communication Similarly, and more generally, we can make sure that we communicate in the clearest, most effective way possible. The 7Cs of effective communication must be: Clear Concise Concrete Correct Coherent Complete Courteous.
  10. 10. 4.0 Crises 2.0 10 #1: You Can’t Respond to Conversations You Don’t See A great response starts with great listening. Among listening, search and monitoring tools to hand, you can use a number of holistic tools: Combination of 24/7 monitor and daily checks. Use of Hootsuite dashboard to monitor all mentions of brand, or another external social monitor. Google Analytic and Alerts for company, brand and industry keywords. Keep a close eye on your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook pages. Live monitoring during any known incident (outside of core hours). Be proactive, listen and be responsive. Have visibility of all inbound and outbound content. Monitor industry websites, as well as forums and communities where your targets, contacts and clients congregate and regularly check in on them.
  11. 11. 4.0 Crises 2.0 11 Whether you’re paying attention or not, the conversations are happening. A great listening program makes it easier for you to catch trends, join conversations, be alert to negative buzz and spot issues before they build momentum and become much harder to turn around. If you do not have the resources to listen yourself, think about using a digital marketing specialist to listen and monitor on your behalf, e.g. in China agencies such as Digital Jungle are able to monitor WeChat / Wēixìn: as well as Kantar Media CIC, a China based social business intelligence firm: Social landscapes differ around the world. For example, Kantar Media CICs’ China Social Media Landscape charts social media channels in China: Source:
  12. 12. 4.0 Crises 2.0 12 #2: Determine if it’s Worth a Response Not all negative comments are worth a response, and not all critics are worth trying to win over. Sometimes, as hard as it can be, it’s best just to move on. Avoid these situations: The criticism is on a really small blog or forum, and your response will only bring attention and credibility to an issue nobody saw in the first place. It’s a blatant attack that’s clearly rude and outrageous — and anyone who reads it can see the critic has a personal problem. A known person or blogger who is only looking to pick a fight. There’s just no way to win in these scenarios. So stay out, move on, keep your head up and focus on the wrongs you can right.
  13. 13. 4.0 Crises 2.0 13 #3: Act quickly Whether it’s positive or negative, a quick response is key to engaging with your audience. The nature of social media is immediate and people expect immediate responses. Time is not on your side. The longer you wait to respond, the more likely you are to lose the impetus and interest of your audience. If you are dealing with an unhappy contact, the angrier the contact will get and the more likely others will pick-up on the issue and spread the negative buzz. At the very least, say this: “Hi, my name is ____ and I hear you. We’re looking into it now, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact me directly at _____.” Or “Please DM me and I will do my best to resolve this issue.” A message like this does two things: The ranter knows he or she has your attention—there’s much less incentive to keep spreading the anger and it makes a real person with real contact info available, so if the person is still angry, you’ve at least specified a place to vent other than online.
  14. 14. 4.0 Crises 2.0 14 #4: Speak like a human The only thing worse than ignoring upset clients/customers is to respond with a canned corporate response. If you thought they were mad before, wait until you see how they react to an excerpt of your policy terms and fine print. Show empathy, communicate in a friendly tone and use your real name. And if the forum supports it, it helps to include your actual photo. It’s easy to yell and scream at an anonymous company. But when someone shows up and says, “Hi, this is Emily and I’m so sorry for the trouble…” it changes everything. The critic now realises he wasn’t yelling at a giant, faceless company. He was yelling at Emily. Quickly, the anger fades and you might just get an apology. Be human, friendly, polite and courteous. And even if you can’t fix the problem immediately, you have at least controlled and defused a potentially problematic situation. In addition, speaking with authority on social channels adds to the credibility of the medium. A real authoritative person and/or tone of voice, including that of the voice of the company goes a long way.
  15. 15. 15 It is not recommended that anyone who is ill equipped, dabbling or junior uses the company’s social media assets. 4.0 Crises 2.0
  16. 16. 4.0 Crises 2.0 16 #5: Offer a real apology or don’t apologise A strong, direct apology will always earn more respect than a flimsy, “kinda-sorta” apology. #6: Offer to make it right Apologising is part of turning around negative word of mouth, but to actually fix a problem is how you really win over critics. We all make mistakes. It’s how we fix them that people remember. For instance, consider a scenario in which someone posts the wrong thing; posts the wrong message/content to the wrong audience; or posts something offensive. This could very easily and all too often happens. Supposing the social media platform gets a virus, hacked or someone loses their phone and a stranger suddenly has access to a host of your businesses media assets/channels. In this situation, do we have a process for correcting our mistake? Can we delete and resend? Or disable the platform? Should we apologise and be honest about the error, and in so doing, offer something extra in return for offending or wasting peoples time? People are typically understanding and sympathetic to such errors, so it’s best to deal with the situation promptly and to be transparent, sincere and generous in winning people back. It is essential that you are prepared for such eventualities and have thought through these situations.
  17. 17. 4.0 Crises 2.0 17 #7: Never get into a fight Any time you win an argument online, you’re losing. All anyone really remembers is that you’re combative. This doesn’t mean you can’t respond, explain your side of the story and start a conversation. You just need to be in the right mind-set: Don’t get emotional. Remember, it’s a real person. Just as they see you as a faceless company, it’s easy to see them as just another complainer or critic. The critic is actually doing you a favour. They’re helping you learn to be a better company. For every person who actually speaks up, many more walk away quietly, never to return.
  18. 18. 4.0 Crises 2.0 18 #8: When to keep the discussion in the open or take it offline When a negative issue comes up, a common gut reaction is to ask to move the conversation offline. But when you do this the world can’t see all the effort you put into fixing the problem. A general rule of thumb is that if the situation affects the masses, keep the discussion online. Prepare a statement or plan of action and see it through. If the situation is personal and relates to a minority, take it offline to a more appropriate form of communication – making personal contact.
  19. 19. 4.0 Crises 2.0 19 #9: Use fans (including staff) and third-party sources to help tell the story What you say about yourself isn’t as powerful as what others say about you. It’s true when people are promoting you, and it’s true when people are calling you out. Should the social media platform you are using be insufficient for the purpose/story you want to tell, do not shy away from directing people to other platforms/channels including your website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email, even directories, league tables, media and the multitude of channels, platforms and sources we are able to draw upon. Having a story to tell, a strong voice on social media and ownership of social media channels underpins a successful digital and social media strategy. Also think about meeting face to face if possible, or if you have established a critical mass or confirmed prospects, think about a roadshow or seminar series. Think of ways to move the conversation forward, utilise different platforms and develop fruitful relationships.
  20. 20. 4.0 Crises 2.0 20 #10: Involve them in the fix One way to think about it is that if someone’s criticising you, it’s often just a form of tough love. They’re doing it because they care. They see potential, and they want you to do better. So instead of seeing them as critics, start looking at them as frustrated fans that might have some worthwhile ideas. So, provide a release valve for your audience—acknowledge their constructive and proactive ideas, suggestions and complaints and let them know you are appreciative of their input. Be engaging and charming. You could say something like: “Hi ____ that’s a good point. I would be interested in finding out more about your ideas, and how you think we could improve our service. I will DM you.”
  21. 21. 5.0 Crisis team 21 If the above points do not resolve the situation then senior management – crisis team – may be needed. The role of senior management in such circumstances is vital, but their involvement has a time and a place which should be carefully chosen. Build your crisis team to include social media. Most big brands will have a crisis management team in place. But social media must be an intrinsic part of this team, not a ‘bolt-on’ afterthought. It should include anyone that you’re likely to need during the crisis, including legal (for quick sign-off) and tech support. It should have a clear leader, and usually, it will include: Directors Professional Indemnity/business continuity Tech support, social media and social listening PR and reputation management Legal. Ensure that social media is fully integrated to all existing crisis plans, and that the crisis team includes social media crisis handlers (such as trained social media communicators).
  22. 22. 5.0 Crisis team 22 If the above steps do not provide a quick solution to the problem. Responsibility and ownership for Crisis 2.0 is with the crisis team. Crisisteam Directors PR and reputation management Tech support, social media and social listening Lawyer Person responsible for that channel Professional indemnity and business continuity Note: Joining the DMA could be a useful resource for customer engagement. See: DMA members receive indemnified and unlimited legal advice on direct marketing issues. Tel: 0207 291 3360 or E:
  23. 23. 23 6.0 Social media monitoring
  24. 24. 6.0 Social media monitoring 24 Monitor/listen Respond Yes Act quickly Tone Make it right Open Online channels/ media statement/ press conference Escalate Yes Crisis team No Offline Email/face-to- face/phone call Escalate Yes Crisis team No No Social media monitoring and crisis mapping.
  25. 25. 6.0 Social media monitoring 25 The United States Air Force Web Posting Response Assessment chart is a really good example of social media monitoring/crisis mapping. The US Air Force also makes its social media guide available on its website: Source:
  26. 26. 6.0 Social media monitoring 26 We can no longer manage how an issue breaks. It is no more possible to control the message that spreads through social networks than it is to control the medium over which it travels. During a crisis, we need to be calm, have clarity of vision, and be creative in our problem solving. Broadly speaking, crises can be divided into two categories those you can’t avoid; and those you can. By monitoring what stakeholders and netizens are saying about you, assessing the likely problems that you might face, and what the business action is you can take to turn a negative situation into a positive, provides you with some element of control. Get the practical things in place. Have a list of who you can call on in an emergency, in whatever time zone you need them. Make sure you know the password to your social media accounts – it sounds obvious, but the best laid plans fall apart if the only person who has access to your social media accounts is unreachable, or worse – holding the accounts hostage. Monitor the crisis closely. Throughout the crisis, monitor how it is playing out over social media, and keep in close touch with your monitoring team. If something changes, be prepared to respond quickly, and make sure all the parties involved in the crisis team are informed and up-to-date. Make sure your tone of voice is appropriate to the issue you’re addressing.
  27. 27. 6.0 Social media monitoring 27 Make a note of what platforms you operate. This may be divided into primary channels, that may include LinkedIn, Twitter, Sina Weibo and Bitly. Secondary channels (e.g. Facebook, Google+ and Youtube) and tertiary channels (e.g. Slideshare, Vimeo, Prezi and Instagram). While the importance and relevance of social channels will vary for all businesses. It is important that you appreciate what channels (or assets) you have and their use and importance to your business.
  28. 28. 5.0 Crisis planning 28 Use steps associated with rational decision making (Target outcome – analyse the situation; generate options; evaluate options; and make decisions). The below chart is a guide to be used by the crisis team who should keep their plan as clear and simple as possible. Audit all social media accounts Agree public response and TOV Issue direction and implement actions Release statements and corresponding measures Message consistent across channels Monitor crisis closely Keep crisis team informed and up-to-date Keep a record / log of all communications List passwords, who has access , devices used Own and control communications channels Act quickly Monitor Target outcome
  29. 29. 7.0 Crisis planning 29 What does a social media crisis look like? When we talk about a social media crisis, we mean a crisis that has the potential for a real impact on your business. The severity of crisis will determine your response. Agree in advance what constitutes a serious issue and needs a clear escalation path (including to the police or relevant authority in the case of criminal activity or abuse). Crises are likely to fall into one of four groups: 1. A serious event that’s happening in the real world and unfolding over social media. For example, reported by ‘citizen journalists’. This could be a life or death situation, or a real emergency. 2. A protest instigated by an activist group to bring about a specific result, such as Greenpeace’s social media campaign to organise local protest against supermarket chain, Waitrose, to put pressure on the supermarket to end its partnership with Shell. (It didn’t take long for Waitrose to abandon the relationship and support Greenpeace’s stance on arctic drilling.) 3. Human error, or a rogue employee. An employee at UK music store, HMV, live-tweeted the firing of 60 staff in February 2013, even offering (unheeded) advice to the head of marketing on how to change the passwords to social media accounts. Less serious examples of this might be accidentally tweeting from the wrong account, or an unfortunate typo. 4. A social media hack, such as that suffered by the Associated Press in April 2013, when a group claiming to be the ‘Syrian Electronic Army’ tweeted from AP’s account that the White House had come under attack.
  30. 30. 6.0 Crisis planning 30 An inflammatory and negative story in the media that’s picked-up and spread on social media, or vice versa. Issues that might lead to a crisis: 1. Financial risk – associated with disclosures in violation of stock exchange or SEC rules. 2. Information Leakage – disclosure of sensitive information, such as internal announcements, personal and health information, intellectual property, client data and personally identifiable information. 3. Reputational damage to brand – misuse of brand guidelines, obscenities, malpractice, illegal activity by lawyer or staff. 4. Governance Risk – inadequate governance can result in a number of uncoordinated and inefficient activities, e.g. lack of vision for how social media is used by the business, or competing strategies, duplicate efforts, wasted investment, poorly allocated resources and limited organisational learning. 5. Impersonations – libel, slander, copyright or trademark infringement. 6. Identity hacks/hacked – unauthorised, malicious, fraudulent, misuse of company information and spam. 7. Unauthorised and fake digital accounts – webpages and digital accounts that do not adhere to brand guidelines and company voice. 8. Tone – a mistaken tone or insensitive comment can lead to a crisis. This is usually fixed with a heartfelt apology. 9. Non-compliance with regulatory requirements and Third-party Risk – outsourcing social media activities can leave companies vulnerable to substantial risks, particularly copyright and trademark infringement as well as the risk of breaching the principles of industry codes. 10. Business Continuity – different levels of disaster linked to cyber risk and business continuity planning.
  31. 31. 9.0 Managing your reputation 31 The reputation you have when you go into a crisis will be the one that sees you through it. If you do nothing to manage your reputation during the good times, then you’ll have no goodwill or reputation capital to carry you through the bad times. People who trust you already are more likely to support you, and defend you from detractors. Stash goodwill to see you through any difficult patches. The stronger the voice you have in social media (and in your own online communities), the better your relationships will be with clients. It is your loyal stakeholders/clients who have a relationship with you who are most likely to defend you. Understand what can be solved by clear communication, and what can’t. If a brand is abusing human rights in Bangladesh, no amount of positive PR will help. Be prepared to take some serious business decisions, quickly. For this reason, involve your most senior people early on – it’ll get those decisions made more quickly. In May 2013, British retailer Marks and Spencer managed to avoid serious reputational damage after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh when it became one of the brands signing up to an international agreement to improve safety conditions in garment factories. The apparent reluctance by other companies – notably Gap and Wal-Mart – to sign resulted in negative press coverage across the board. Once you’ve agreed on what action to take, agree your public response, and – importantly – the tone of voice you’ll use within your communities. Make sure it’s consistent across all your audiences and channels. Assume that what you say on Twitter will reach the same people as your press statement, or your customer service announcement. Your emailed statements will be posted by interested parties onto Facebook. News media will source interviews from social media. Communications channels can no longer be viewed in silos.
  32. 32. 10.0 Trends in purchase intention 32 Kantar Media CIC and Ogilvy PR China’s report: Crisis Management in the Social Era in 2013, examines the changes in purchase intention of 20 brands in 2013 continuously for seven days after a crisis erupts and the effect of three crisis response strategies. The report conclusively finds that purchase intention changes over different stages of crisis development, with common features including: On the first day after a crisis breaks out – The buzz volume surges and consumers start to discuss the crisis. Although most brands are capable of developing a response within one day after a crisis has erupted, the purchase intention (or reputation) declines sharply compared to the average level of purchase intention 30 days before a crisis. Within four days after a crisis breaks out – This time period is a turning point. An abundant amount of online discussion occurs and the buzz continues to surge and hit a peak level. Discussions cover the crisis and the brand’s response and handling of the issue. The purchase intention drops to its lowest level during this time. Within seven days after a crisis breaks out – A brand’s average purchase intention rises again. After this time, the purchase intention gradually reaches a comparatively stable figure, indicating that the effects of the brand’s crisis handling has entered a steady state. To some brands, the rebound of their purchase intention becomes more stable, but to others, it’s difficult to return to the level before the crisis. A brand therefore needs to make continuous observations upon the changes in purchase intention and make adjustments in its strategy in dealing with the crisis. Source: ogilvy-public-relations-china-released-the-latest-white-paper-q2013-crisis-management-in-the- social-eraq-&catid=99%3Aarchives-2014&Itemid=208&lang=en
  33. 33. 10.0 Trends in purchase intention 33 During the process of handling a crisis, the response time should be as quick as possible. Response attitudes and handling measures are very important as they can impact on the consumers’ purchase intention. The three categories that define the attitudes and methods of crisis handling include: Denial (deny crisis) A brand claims it has nothing to do with the crisis after it breaks out and completely denies it. Admission (admit problems and make apologies) A brand admits its own problems related to the crisis with solutions proposed. Investigation (immediately release a response indicating an investigation is underway before making any conclusions, release statements and corresponding measures after finding out the truth) After crises have erupted, brands show their proactive attitude to find out the truth and investigations are conducted. Well-performing brands build communication channels with consumers, such as hotlines, post investigation results promptly, explaining the details of issues, propose plans for further actions, including the details of product recall and the recalling process. All measures, such as recall and refund are carried out effectively so as to win back consumers’ confidence.
  34. 34. 10.0 Trends in purchase intention 34 Comparing the three methods of crisis response (denial; admission; and investigate/apologise), Kantar Media CIC and Ogilvy PR China found that denial has a bigger impact upon a brand’s purchase intention. Regardless of the facts, a brand needs to understand consumers’ perspective, allow consumers to know about and accept the facts with appropriate explanation, and prevent customer misunderstanding about the brand. Simply denying the issue and responsibilities cannot benefit the recovery of purchase intention. A brand must pay special attention and avoid contradictory attitudes. If a brand denies the issue at the beginning, but later admits to problems after investigations, it leaves the worst impression upon consumers. The recovery of the brand’s purchase intention becomes even more difficult. The response of immediately releasing a response indicating an investigation is underway before making any conclusions is better than the other two response options, in terms of a recovery in purchase intention. Findings show that on the first day after a crisis outbreak the decline in purchase intention is far smaller than the other two response options. After investigations reach a conclusion, brands could further share information on developmental stages with consumers and take corresponding actions. This kind of response can be accepted by consumers more easily. At the same time, it can help to speed up the recovery in purchase intention.
  35. 35. 10.0 Trends in purchase intention 35 Netizens can more easily accept the option of immediately releasing a response indicating an investigation is underway before making any conclusions. In showing an honest attitude, taking active actions in follow-up execution, and making comprehensive reports on crisis development, the crisis duration becomes shorter and the buzz volume becomes lower compared to the other two response options. Don’t make any conclusions about issues too early, but immediately conduct investigations and follow up. This can effectively help the recovery of a brand’s purchase intention. Case study – The influence of response attitude on purchase intention from the August 2013 Coca-Cola botulism scandal: On the first day after the crisis broke out, Coca-Cola’s purchase intention suddenly dropped by 196%. The decline slightly expanded on the second day (with the brand’s purchase intention down). The brand responded to the issue on the second day and promised to make comprehensive investigations, traced back the production and delivery records of affected products, and allowed consumers to know about details via hotlines. The brand’s purchase intention thus rebounded a little from the second day to the third. On the third day, the brand continued to make responses by stating that affected products had been identified during investigations and a corresponding recall was underway. The brand’s purchase intention started to rebound on the third day and on the seventh day the brand’s purchase intention was only 35% lower than the level before the crisis. Source: 2013-crisis-management-in-the-social-era
  36. 36. 11.0 Social media policy 36 You can’t control how a story spreads on social media. In these days of Twitter, mobile phone video uploads and consumers tapping into their online networks, word of mouth spreads like wildfire. Every citizen with a smartphone is a reporter. In May 2013, a BA flight made an emergency landing at Heathrow. The covers of the engines had popped open in flight. Before the aircraft even landed, a passenger had Tweeted a photo of the engines. Within minutes of landing, amateur video appeared on news channels – someone had filmed the smoking plane as it flew over their street. What you can control, to some extent, is what your employees post on social media about you. Have a clear social media policy in place, and be clear about what is and what isn’t acceptable if that employee is publicly associated with your company. During a crisis, every move you make will be scrutinised. Involve all your organisation’s communications channels, including, importantly, Search. A widely covered issue will show up in search results for a disproportionately long time after the event. Make sure you include Search in your communications plan, so that you can take positive action to neutralise negative coverage on search engines. Your voice on your social channels should stay true and authentic throughout the crisis. Your PR team and social media mangers should already be authorised to make quick decisions and take action where necessary to restore trust. Source:
  37. 37. 12.0 Crisis checklist – Preparing for a crisis 37 Prepare for a crisis Monitor what’s being said about your brand in all channels, and listen for anything that might spark a crisis. Do the groundwork before the crisis breaks. Have some goodwill ‘banked’. Define what a crisis looks like, and plan for every eventuality. Have a social media policy in place for all employees. Build your crisis team and plan to include senior decision makers through the business. Include search as an important part of the comms mix. Be clear about what can and what can’t be solved by PR. Involve your employees in the process – you don’t want them breaking the crisis for you. Be in the social media space already (and be able to access your accounts). Rehearse: hold as full a simulation as you can.
  38. 38. 12.0 Crisis checklist – Managing the crisis 38 Managing the crisis Be prepared to take business action if necessary. Communications can’t solve a business issue. Remember: you can’t control social media. But you can control how you respond in social media. Agree your response and communicate it consistently. Authorise social media experts to act on your behalf. Don’t create your own firestorm. Don’t address an issue in a forum where no-one knew there was an issue to start with. Keep crisis team contact numbers accessible and updated. Have a pre-defined escalation path for serious incidents (and use it). Keep in close contact with your monitoring team. Keep the tone of voice appropriate to the issue; and keep it true to your company values.
  39. 39. 13.0 Key points 39 8 golden rules of crisis management (By Julie Atherton, Founder and Managing Director of Small Wonder) For many brands the test of its reputation and ability to handle consumer unrest will be played out in the real world and in real time with no certainty of success. Preparation and planning are essential in managing a crisis. 1. Speed – be ready to react to an event. As a rule of thumb you have less than half an hour to respond on Facebook and 15 minutes on twitter to stay in control. 2. Strategy – have a signed-off approach to typical scenarios with an understanding of the implication of typical actions. 3. Know your roles – ensure the response team is known across the business and a leader has been identified. 4. Take control – it’s your brand and your reputation, don’t become paralysed by bureaucracy. 5. Stay calm – don’t be goaded. Spot the signs that individuals need a break. 6. Tone of voice – remember your tone of voice and flex it to suit the channel you are using – corporate speak on Facebook just won’t work. 7. Choose your battles wisely – be confident to decide when to respond and when to ignore. 8. Collaborate – you will make better decisions as a team and can share the effort across every platform. Source:
  40. 40. 13.0 Key points 40 No brand is exempt from a potential crisis – who would have thought that Greenpeace would target Waitrose or pink pens could be so inflammatory for Bic? The challenge is to be ready and rehearsed – only then can you turn a crisis into a success. August 2016