09:00 Best practice crisis communications
09:45 Crisis simulation: part 1
10:45 Crisis simulation: part 2
11:30 Key takeaways for digital communication in a crisis
Simulations and exercises to get teams ‘match fit’
Social media ‘telescopes’ audiences together in a crisis
…and helps credible influencers to tell their story
What is crisis management?
“making, implementing and communicating strategic
decisions under exceptional circumstances of intense
scrutiny, acute pressure and high organisational risk”
Where do crises come from?
Collision Employee misconduct
Bad news travels faster
The staff error
The misjudged humour
The angry comment
Interactive channels take thoughtful management
The discussion moves quickly: how are you tracking it?
What’s different? What’s the same?
• Clear roles and
responsibilities still matter
• Objectives and strategy
underpin and guide tactical
• Media reaches a lot of people
• People want clear,
• Speed & depth
• Media is just one audience for
• Driven by trust in people, not
• The tools to investigate,
speculate and mobilise are
Ingredients of a good response to hostility or crisis online
1. Have the right channels to listen & respond
2. Establish credibility
3. Respond quickly
4. Counter misinformation
5. Draw on your supporters
6. Plan how you’ll sustain your efforts
Putting it into practice…
Three tasks for digital communication
Listening Publishing Engaging
Theory meets painful reality
• Who has sign off on social media channels in a crisis?
• How do tone of voice and messaging change?
• Can you resource social for a 24/7 crisis over several days?
Pre-crisis Initial event Maintenance Resolution Evaluation
Assess your ‘digital vulnerability’
1. Search engine rankings for important keywords
2. Website structure & resilience: how easy is information to find,
and what volume of interest can the site handle?
3. Social media channels (access, influence & process)
4. Monitoring tools (access, keywords & process)
5. Key staff online
Inspired by: melissaagnescrisismanagement.com
Things aren’t always what they seem: verify & monitor
Understand how people react in a crisis
Alerting, situational awareness
Emotional response, anger, empathy
Investigation, understanding, research,
Recovery, normalisation, humour,
1. Social media rewards fast, human responses in line with your
2. Become a credible, transparent source of information, showing empathy
when people are shocked; competence when they want answers
3. Avert problems: set rules for your channels, manage expectations,
monitor actively, build relationships
4. Integrate social media response into your crisis planning: including
resourcing and approvals, and where customer service meets corporate
Stay calm and peaceful!
Follow what’s going on social media crisis communication: