WHAT WAS SAID
WHAT IS MISSING
No mobile capability
No web pages
No response in some
Turning a Crisis into a
CRISIS MANAGEMENT - FAIL
PRETTY PICTURES AND SAATCHI ADS
DON’T HACK IT ANYMORE
PRETTY AND SICKENING
People expect a human
Playing at it is insulting
Expectations are high
IT IS POSSIBLE TO TURN A DISASTER INTO A
WHAT IS THE REALITY OF LIFE
How many people have mobiles?
How many use mobiles for email?
How many use mobile for Messaging,
Facebook, apps, web?
Do you think press release first or mobile
Where does the web fit?
The Internet During Crisis?
● Almost instant data spike
● Very fast moving
● Aggregates all other activities
● Spreads every detail to all media and the
population at large.
● Fortunately verification is not always good
enough in the first few minutes.
● Unfortunately, verification tools are becoming
It happens to the best
“I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama
Bin Laden.” Keith Urban at 03:24 – not The White
In "Social Business Readiness: How Advanced
Companies Prepare Internally," Altimeter Group analyzed
50 social media crises that have occurred since 2001.
He was not the first reporter. Shortly after 4pm EST on
1 May Sohaib Athar (@ReallyVirtual on Twitter) was
live-tweeting a series of helicopter flypasts and
explosions and was unwittingly covering the US forces
raid on Osama Bin Laden‟s compound. Meanwhile
somewhere in the vicinity @m0hcin was reporting too.
They found that those reaching mainstream media have
risen steadily through the past decade, with just 1-2
incidents per year in the first five years and a total of 10
social media crises last year alone.
The report also sheds light on exactly how social media
crises arise and how companies can avoid them.
What is a crisis online
It is a departure from a norm and can mostly be managed.
All plans/activities have expected outcomes, financial budgets and timescales. These are
often identified using aids for project planning. Monitoring such plans will identify where
plans are going awry. This is normal day to day management. We all do it.
Foreseen uncertaintiesThere are some variations that are identifiable and understood
that the PR team cannot be sure will occur or when. They can be planned for and are
part of management. Like coping with unexpected staff illness – managers cope.
Unforeseen UncertaintyThis kind of event cannot be identified during project planning.
Or during risk management planning. There is no Plan B. Good management has crisis
management planning in place to mitigate effects (this is what today is about – good
What does this entail
● Know what is „normal‟
● Have measures in place to be able to identify variation
● Be sure that variation can be managed by a wide
● Foreseen uncertainty circumstances are identified by
looking at historic variation – are there generic foreseen
circumstances (e.g. staff illness, transport strike etc) did
we manage it well, how can we manage it better. Train
people to recognise and manage
● Unforeseen Uncertainty requires having crisis
management tools in place (monitoring, evaluation,
reporting and information dissemination, multi location/time
zone responses etc.
● Need for impact analysis
The building blocks
● Every management reporting process is helpful.
● Mostly management reports do not have much
out of the ordinary (much as we would like to
● We look for variance.
● There are tools to help
● Public Relations practitioners are allowed to use
Big Data tools too!
● Who is linked to whom
● What is linked to what and who and how
● +davidghphillips #BoE, @RobElder etc
● Who and what is changing
● How fast
● News Monitoring/tone is now automated
● Its the news (an RSS feed on your phone)
● Internet monitoring is a bit more difficult
● Big Data monitoring is essential
● But it is very creepy
● Every thing you do
or say is
● Your comments,
and followers and
their networks too
● So too for
What is changing
● From the perspective of population
● From the perspective of the Governor
● Lisbon Theory
● Semantic analysis
● Tag the concepts
● To what extent
● Is this item relevant
● To what extent are there new semantic concepts
● Do they need to be managed
Monitoring search profiles
● What is a „normal‟ profile
● This means you need to monitor all the time.
● PR „Evaluation‟ is now Old old old fashioned (for
practitioners over 55!
● Normal is OK other than normal is is an issue
Profile on Twitter
In 48 minutes 450 tweets collected, 157 of these tweets form connected components. From this, on the map
we can see 3 large communities of Twitter users, joined by multiple smaller ones (Source: Keene
Robert Peston‟s influence
Monitoring key influencers in different media is useful
● Is important to know – and if it gets faster.....
How many media
There are Limits
Preparing for the day 1
● Re-visit social media
● Check all is up to date
● Watch who else is contributing
● Be ready to edit fast (e.g. Wikipedia)
Preparing for the day 2
● An escalation plan
● Important to react
● Important not to over react
● Nominated person
● Trained person
● Available information
● Fast internal monitoring
● Fast external monitoring
● Establishment of the facts
Testing the system
● Narrowcast – broadcast
● Is it „Robert Peston‟s‟ network or Robert Peston the
● Is it a specific media (e.g. Twitter) or across social
media – knowing that it will cross media borders
● Robert is on Radio, TV, Blogs, Twitter etc etc.
● Have the information about him to hand?
● Once you use a media you have to keep doing it.
● If you don‟t you don‟t have a voice/credibility
● If you do, it has to be part of the overall strategic
comms plan (content, monitoring, analysis ROI etc)
● Essential facts
● Supporting data (hyperlinks)
● Images (get more attention)
● Mix and match people
● A method that allows you to say the same thing over and
again without looking like stonewalling
● First response quick
● Then keep up a series of contributions (e.g. Every hour)
● Never stretch the truth – a million experts online will put
The experts say
Identify risk events
Assess the probability of each event
Make a cost-benefit analysis of response alternatives
Choose a response
Re-assess probability and impact with company response
On-going monitoring of risk events
● “Crisis is a process of transformation where the old system can no longer be maintained.
● 1. unexpected (i.e., a surprise)
● 2. creates uncertainty
● 3. is seen as a threat to important goal system that can no longer be maintained."
Most “research does not consider the enormous influence a crisis has on social media that
further affects the relationship between social media and the stock market.”
● There are measurable differences in the way microblog messages propagate. ...these
differences relate to newsworthiness and credibility of the information conveyed, and (there
are) features that are effective for classifying information automatically as credible or not
Source: Venette, S. J. (2003). Risk communication in a High Reliability Organization: APHIS PPQ's inclusion of risk in decision making. Ann
Arbor, MI: UMI Proquest Information and Learning.
Source: Jiang, CuiQing, et al. "Analyzing market performance via social media: a case study of a banking industry crisis." Science China
Information Sciences (2013): 1-18.
Source: Carlos Castillo, Marcelo Mendoza, Barbara Poblete, (2013) "Predicting Information Credibility in Time-Sensitive Social Media",
Internet Research, Vol. 23 Iss: 5
Evidence of SocMed
● Blogs and Social Media: “The New Word of Mouth and its Impact
on the Reputation of the Voluntary Dector and on their
● ...Social media-based metrics (Web blogs and consumer
ratings) are significant leading indicators of firm equity value.
● Companies, brands, politicians, governmental institutions, and
celebrities have increasingly been facing the impact of
negative online WOM and complaint behaviour.
● In reaction to any questionable statement or activity, social
media users can create huge waves of outrage within just a
Source: Eleftheria (Roila) Christakou, George-Michael Klimis Handbook of Social Media Management Media Business and Innovation 2013, pp 715-735
Source: Luo, Xueming, J. Zhang, and W. Duan (2013), “Social Media and Firm Equity Value,” Information Systems Research, Forthcoming
Source: J. Pfeffera*, T. Zorbachb & K. M. Carleya (June 2013) Understanding online firestorms: Negative word-of-mouth dynamics in social media networks.
Journal of Marketing Communications
What about Print media?
● There is little division between online PR and traditional press
● European Public Relations Education and Research Association
papers this year show that Media Relations is more productive when
conducted using social media (except via Facebook).
● Online Circulations are up a lot.
● NRS PADD Survey reports the Guardian now has 1.7 million
more monthly readers than the Telegraph, compared to May
when this figure was 1.6 million.
● Guardian is the most-read news site in the UK with 10.4 million
readers, 523,000 more than the Mail Online (9.9 million).
● Trade media as well as newspapers
● You face issues
● They will escalate to crisis
● Not all crisis is the same
● Possible to mitigate
● Network theory semantic evaluation and related
data analysis are big allies
Not possible to respond across all media
A need to plan, prepare, train and test.
Good research available to aid decision making
Online and offline media are converging
● A bit of brain storming
David Phillips FCIPR FSCR
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CIPR Crisis Diploma Reading List
Bland, M (1998) Communicating Out of a Crisis, London: Macmillan
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Regester, M & Larkin, J. (2008), Risk Issues and Crisis Management, Kogan Page/CIPR,
Seymour, M and Moore, S (2000) Effective Crisis Management: worldwide principles and
practice. London: Cassell