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Social media contingency


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Why every corporate communications department needs a social media contingency plan.

Published in: Business
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Social media contingency

  1. 1. Social media contingency planning 0 Why your organization needs one, today DANA CHEN OCT 2012Dana Chen 2012
  2. 2. What makes a crisis? 1—  What constitutes positive reputation? ¡  At least 20% stories in leading media positive ¡  No more than 10% stories negative ¡  The rest is neutral Dana Chen 2012
  3. 3. Assessing the situation: Should we respond? 2Dana Chen 2012
  4. 4. Assessing the situation: Should we respond? 3Dana Chen 2012
  5. 5. Assess situation: How NOT to deal with a crisis 4Dana Chen 2012
  6. 6. Assessing situation: How TO deal with a crisis 5Dana Chen 2012
  7. 7. What causes a crisis? 6 Individual Corporate ExternalDana Chen 2012
  8. 8. What makes a crisis? - Individual (1/4) 7—  Individual ¡  One of company people makes a mistake in public ÷  Poor attempt at humor ÷  Misdirecting a private message ÷  Insensitive response to eventsDana Chen 2012
  9. 9. What makes a crisis? - Individual (1/4) 8Sometimes it’s not what you do …Dana Chen 2012
  10. 10. What makes a crisis? - Individual (1/4) 9But how you rectify it … Dana Chen 2012
  11. 11. What makes a crisis? (1/4) 10Or the community response Result: situation neutralized and everyone came out winning Dana Chen 2012
  12. 12. What makes a crisis? – Corporate (2/4) 11—  Corporate ¡  Customer service or marketing failure ÷  Unhappy customers take to the web ÷  Protestors or campaigners highlight an issue ÷  Corporate malpractice or policy is exposedDana Chen 2012
  13. 13. What makes a crisis? (2/4) 12Dana Chen 2012
  14. 14. What makes a crisis? (2/4) 13Dana Chen 2012
  15. 15. Corporate (2/4) 14—  Toyota 2009 recall due to faulty brakes—  Initial rough patch—  Then leveraged social media to diffuse crisis ¡  Monitor conversations 24/7 ¡  Youtube: President Jim Lentz apologizing ¡  Youtube: updates posted via ¡  Digg Dialogg interview ¡  Twitter chat ¡  Facebook to direct people to Twitter feed and microsite ¡  Tweetmeme: own branded channel ¡  Brand loyalists invited to tweet and blog, turned to brand advocates—  Post crisis: ¡  41% increase in sales ¡  Grew online fan base by 10% ¡  Responded quickly across large number of networks to reassure customersDana Chen 2012
  16. 16. Corporate (3/4) 15—  Corporate ¡  A customer service or marketing failure ÷  Dismissive of customer feedback ÷  Pretending to be something you are not ÷  Remaining silent and refusing to engageDana Chen 2012
  17. 17. Societe Generale trading loss vs. BP oil spill (3/4) 16 •  Reassure stock exchange •  Use employees as symbol of legitimacy •  Not defensive •  Reduce rumor of collapse by acquiring another bank, business as usual •  Focus on communicating with •  Clients/shareholders by hotline and mail •  Does not communicate unnecessarily •  No more publicity campaigns •  160,000 employees •  No more sponsorship campaigns •  4,9 billion euros trading loss •  Limit media exposure Result: Media pressure decreasesDana Chen 2012
  18. 18. Societe Generale trading loss vs. BP oil spill (3/4) 17 •  What it did wrong: •  Focused on speaking to shareholders, not the general public •  Shifting blames, always defensive •  No apologies or re-assurance on environmental impact of spill •  Failed to accept blame •  Communicating on social media failed: •  Fake BP feed had more followers than real one •  Found to be faking certain rescue•  Largest marine oil spill in history efforts•  4,9 million barrels of crude oil •  Buying keywords on Google to spread leaked corporate message •  PR agency specialized in financial•  11 workers killed, 17 injured comm, not crisis management Result: CEO replaced, brand damage for years to come Dana Chen 2012
  19. 19. Societe Generale trading loss vs. BP oil spill (3/4) 18—  Focus on the right stakeholder(s) ¡  Some issues require extra sensitivities w.r.t. public opinion, other issues not ¡  Accurately read public perception of events—  Truth is preferred to “cascade of revelations” ¡  It is also ok to say “we are in unchartered waters” ¡  Acknowledge responsibilities—  Putting the right face forward ¡  Usually the highest ranking executive but not alwaysDana Chen 2012
  20. 20. What makes a crisis? – External (4/4) 19—  External ¡  Organization finds itself in an emergency ÷  Extreme weather, strikes, disputes ÷  Operations are disrupted ÷  Staff and customers seek clarityDana Chen 2012
  21. 21. External / When things go awry (4/4) 20—  Shell’s Let’s go campaignDana Chen 2012
  22. 22. External / When things go awry (4/4) 21Dana Chen 2012
  23. 23. External / When things go awry (4/4) 22Dana Chen 2012
  24. 24. External / When things go awry (4/4) 23—  #MeetTheFarmers—  #McDStories Lessons learned: •  Seemed self-serving •  No explanation as to context •  Pulled down tweets as soon as it went wrongDana Chen 2012
  25. 25. Don’t turn a non-crisis into a crisis (5/4) 24Dana Chen 2012
  26. 26. Don’t turn a non-crisis into a crisis (5/4) 25—  Placating angry tweets is an artDana Chen 2012
  27. 27. Don’t turn a non-crisis into a crisis (5/4) 26•  Oreo’s rainbow Oreo in support of Gay Pride Month•  Massive social media backlash, 35,000 threatening to boycott product—  Lessons learned: ¡  Reasoning with people that can’t be reasoned with does not help the brand ¡  Keep cool and do not feed the trollsDana Chen 2012
  28. 28. How to respond? (1/2) 27 —  Handling a social crisis: what’s different, what’s the same? Same Different §  Ownership, with clear roles §  Speed and responsibilities still key §  Social media is driven by trust §  Mainstream media has a vital in people, rather than role organizations §  People want clear, §  Audience have tools to straightforward information investigate, record, publish and mobilize nowDana Chen 2012
  29. 29. How to respond? (2/2) 28—  Characteristics of a good response: ¡  1. From an individual professional with clear authority and explanation of role (e.g. Dick, Corporate Spokesperson) ÷  Avoid having more than one voice speaking for the company ¡  2. Is timely ¡  3. Addresses issues clearly ¡  3. Acknowledges negative perceptions, addresses causes and facts – come across as reasonable human being ¡  4. Links to help, sources or further clarification (e.g. “The report/plan in full can be found at http:// …”)Dana Chen 2012
  30. 30. Outline for handling crisis 29—  Plan: skills, tools, resources—  Own: have well-established channels—  Monitor: be ahead of the curve—  Initiate: be communicative, clear, human—  Integrate: connect social channels to media handling and customer service experiencesDana Chen 2012
  31. 31. In Summary: Navigating negative news (1/3) 30—  Preparation before crisis hits ¡  Evaluate existing SOP and consider possible crisis scenarios—  Create communications plan ¡  Develop core crisis management team ¡  Develop response plan ¡  Key messages for each scenario ¡  Update plan annually (at least)—  Develop contingency plans to handle post-crisis impact on SOP—  Participate in table-top exercises and evaluate preparedness—  Continue online monitoringDana Chen 2012
  32. 32. In Summary: Navigating negative news (2/3) 31—  Once a crisis has occurred: ¡  Bring situation under control ÷  Reduce public uncertainty ¡  Analyze and gather all facts ÷  Do not speculate, release only verified information ÷  Never purposely mislead key stakeholders, media, or public ¡  Keep internal and external stakeholders informed—  Communicate with media ¡  Expressing concern is not expressing guilt ¡  “I don’t know” is acceptable ¡  Always be accurate, always be consistentDana Chen 2012
  33. 33. In Summary: Navigating negative news (3/3) 32—  Follow through: ¡  Maintain dialogue with key stakeholders, media, public as appropriate ¡  Follow contingency plans to minimize impact on operations ¡  Post-crisis, evaluate what happened ÷  Make necessary changes to SOPs, crisis plan or protocols ¡  Seek opportunities to leverage what’s learned from crisis into positive newsDana Chen 2012