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Navigating social media crisis – how rehearsal and neuroscience will lead you to calmer waters

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Navigating social media crisis – how rehearsal and neuroscience will lead you to calmer waters

Delivered at iCommunity 2014. How do we ensure the brand we represent is not engulfed in negativity and can manage its way through a social media crisis? Blaise Grimes-Viort presents the neuroscience behind how we typically respond to crisis as individuals, and how this can be overcome through effective planning and rehearsal.

Delivered at iCommunity 2014. How do we ensure the brand we represent is not engulfed in negativity and can manage its way through a social media crisis? Blaise Grimes-Viort presents the neuroscience behind how we typically respond to crisis as individuals, and how this can be overcome through effective planning and rehearsal.


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Navigating social media crisis – how rehearsal and neuroscience will lead you to calmer waters

  1. 1. Blaise Grimes-Viort VP, Social Media Services Navigating community crisis – How rehearsal and neuroscience will lead you to calmer waters
  2. 2. Crisis
  3. 3. Definition of crisis - Jay Baer Information asymmetry Decisive change from norm Potential impact on reputation or share price
  4. 4. Types - serious event Prayitno
  5. 5. Types - protest JasonScragz
  6. 6. Types - human error / rogue employee SethWoodworth
  7. 7. Types - hack JohanViirock
  8. 8. Robert D. Ramsey in Supervision (Oct2004, Vol. 65, Issue 10) Don’t… fall apart freeze run away ignore the problem deny the obvious attempt a cover-up blame procrastinate give up
  9. 9. Effective preparation Scenario planning Monitoring Include community in crisis team Practical things in place Plan response
  10. 10. Communicating through crisis Manage your reputation Understand what can be solved through clear communication You can’t control how a story spreads on social media The social media hydra Control your employees Know when to walk away Keep monitoring Have an appropriate tone of voice
  11. 11. Hot Seat factors - speed of response SeanTubridy
  12. 12. Hot Seat factors - visibility ZachDischner
  13. 13. Hot Seat factors - unpredictability KevinDooley
  14. 14. Hot Seat factors - lack of control FaramarzHashemi
  15. 15. Hot Seat factors - young industry MikaelTigerstrom
  16. 16. Hot Seat factors - boomerang effect Paleontour
  17. 17. Fear of failure JayAremac
  18. 18. Brain chemistry Threat 11 m/s
  19. 19. Basic dualistic mind model System 2 Sophisticated mind SteveFarrar
  20. 20. System 1 Primitive brain Basic dualistic mind model ManuelAcebedo
  21. 21. Let’s do an experiment
  22. 22. Stress response #1. Mirror neurons shut down #2. Emotional contagion #3. Monkey brain takes over
  23. 23. Associative learning BenMinor
  24. 24. Rehearsal
  25. 25. Team confidence
  26. 26. Quantify the unquantifiable - Greenberger & Pedesky Anxiety = Awfulness x Probability Rescue x Coping Resilience
  27. 27. ThomasJones Perception shift
  28. 28. eModeration Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 203 178 5050 Email: The Media Village 131-151 Great Titchfield St London W1W 5BB UK © eModeration Limited 2014. This document is the intellectual property of eModeration Limited and may not be duplicated or disclosed to any third party without the written permission of an authorised officer of the company. Thank you for listening! Follow me: @BlaiseGV Whitepaper on my Twitter feed.

Editor's Notes

  • Hi everyone, my name is Blaise Grimes-Viort, VP SMS @ emod. I am going to talk today about Crisis & Community, cover the best practice model we need to train ourselves to follow & how as human beings we deal with crisis in our communities.

    We can draw up a plan but is this enough? Some might have done this or think no point for something that might not happen. But I feel it’s imperative to prepare for what could be a highly traumatic event in professional life, situation you could be hero or villain.
  • There are few things certain in life, but one is that you and i will all have to deal with angry mob in our communities.
    how many have had to weather a community storm? - anyone think they will never have to go thru it?
    We all do rep mgt as part of job. Responsible for how our companies perceived online. I know for many, brand you look after is company’s most valuable asset.

    Real crisis is one of most damaging things to brand reputation & community health. SM totally changes how an issue breaks & how we manage. In old PR days we could control message & divert media away from story.
    Can you image, no photos on twitter, telling friends on fb, negative reviews in your forum?
  • So how define crisis? Some1 posting nasty about company isn’t crisis. We need to see 3 main characteristics to identify crisis, as defined by Jay Baer:
    - when you as company don’t know more than public. when passwords hacked & shared on web & blog posts start appearing, that’s info asymmetry.
    crisis is decisive change from normal state of being. Nestle criticised for impact on nature is regular & expected. A new criticism needs to be taken more seriously & combined with info asymmetry could be sign of crisis.
    Finally, the crisis could have impact on company. Product bug not crisis, product wiping customer hardrive is. Scope / Scale final sign.
  • So what kind crisis might we see? Likely to fall into 4 groups.

    Serious event happening in real world & unfolding in your community and SM. Often reported by citizen journalists. Life or death situation. Real emergency.
  • Protest instigated by activist group, for example Greenpeace’s SM campaign against Waitrose (UK supermarket) who had partnered with Shell.

    Waitrose dropped Shell & supported Greenpeace’s stance on arctic drilling.
  • Human error or rogue employee. Could be posting something you shouldn’t

    Or ex-employee still having access to community passwords and posting anti-company messages.
  • Finally - a hack or product failure.
    Leading to widespread propagation of anti-company messaging.
    There are plenty of case studies that show some things we shouldn’t do. In fact, in field of crisis management this has been defined for some time.
  • Robert Ramsey in journal supervision way back 2004 suggested this list:
    fall apart - if you unravel everyone else will - freeze - crisis needs action, not paralysis
    run away - physically, mentally, emotionally - ignore - bad things don’t go away
    deny - form of lying - coverup - makes things worse
    blame - excuses not solutions - procrastinate - delaying adds to problem
    give up - once surrender, no possibility of overcoming crisis
  • [start - got to podium notes] We can confidently lay out best practice plan of action by flipping this list around, as well as using examples of brands who have got it right.

    Let’s look at how to prepare for a crisis.
  • [end - leave podium] We’ve defined solid plan of action in case crisis hits. Most would stop there. What is lacking is understanding what happens to us when crisis hits. Let’s look at challenges.

    When crisis hits, 6 things come into place. These will define how team feels & responds to this pressure situation. We call them Hot Seat Factors of crisis.
  • In crisis, must think quickly & act decisively. No time to work on strategy. Need workable plan already in place.

    Used to have 24hrs for the newspapers to publish, maybe a few hours before TV. Now instantaneous.
  • Can no longer hide behind corporate press statement. Could destroy everything you’ve invested in your community.

    Used to delegate to committee who wrote the statement, now we are the ones talking to customers directly, & we are identifiable. SCARY!
  • Hard enough for marketing teams dealing with press before, now have to deal directly with the public in these situations.

    Public is not objective, personal agendas and emotions. Might be after publicity, or mad. Can’t really tell.
  • When you hand over your statements to the public, can’t control what happens next with them.

    Will develop & change as passed around.
  • Still very young industry. Everything we do is watched, analysed & can feel oppressive.

    We are learning from industry peers, but this means they learning from us too. [got to podium]
  • [end] One of things we face when dealing with crisis is think “lets do plan based on best practice, books, case studies” then job done!

    Looking at managing crisis from human behavioural angle, fascinating. Is fear of failure on your mind? What does it mean for brain? Being in that stressful situation changes brain chemistry completely.
  • Human evolution. We are survivors. Are ones who could run away from lions, tigers, predators. This is what makes us survivors.
    If take span of human history, spent most of it in survival situation, honing survival skills. Spent relatively short time in civilisation. Means brain is attuned to help survive.
  • As consequence, highly attune to threat. Also know brain perceives social threat in same way as physical threat. Remember 6 hot seat factors - likely to lead to social threat? Yes!

    We perceive threat & within 11m/s brain chemistry changes. Flooded with cortisol & adrenaline. Ready to run or fight. Good for dealing w/ lions, not when in front of PC & forum. So what does this change in brain chemistry mean today?
  • Let’s first look at basic model of mind. System 2 is rational part of mind - that we take to college, that reads manual.
    Processing power of encyclopaedia.
  • System 1 is primitive brain - also know as monkey brain. Relatively, it has processing power of… the universe.

    System 1 finely attuned to threat. When we have threat & brain chemistry changes, number of things happen.
  • [go to podium]Let’s do experiment. Think of situation where you were stressed - how did you know you were? What did you feel? (excited/calm) think? (logical or panicked)
    This is what happens.
  • [end] Key is reducing perception of likelihood of failure. Needs to be deep rooted. How?
  • Associative learning - Learning + emotion locks it down. Remember school, history, song lyrics could remember? Emotional connection locks it in.

    Achieved thru experiential learning. Create test environment as close to real thing. Emod runs crisis simu, makes crisis look and feel real, lots of emotion in room, locking learning into monkey brain.
  • Some clients use simulation for rehearsing what they would do.
    Neuroplasticity means if we practice over and over, we can reprogram me our brain ie. drive car, flight simulator
  • Team approach vital - must have confidence in self but also in others. Who has experienced threat from feeling someone in ur team not good enough?
    Doing simu as team develops group confidence. Military knows this. Those who get thru battle simulations least traumatically have best unit cohesion.
  • Love good equation - this one seeks to quantify the unquantifiable.

    [got to podium]Building resilience. Confidence deep in cells that we can cope as can the team.
  • There are times in life when perception of business changes. both perception of business thru online community & perception of business of online community.
    This is one of those moments - when perception shifts. We are called upon to meet that perception shift.
    Up to us & people like us to make that happen.
  • Thank you. Will be tweeting out link to whitepaper going into more details including handy checklist on how to prepare & manage crisis, follow me.
    Any questions?