Reputation Management & Social Media: Strategic Moves for Handling a Flash Crisis
<ul><li>Strategic Moves for Handling a Flash Crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media Optimization Conference </li></ul><ul><li>May 24 th , 2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adele Cehrs President, Epic PR Group (moderator) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Duane Brown, Creative Traction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tameka Kee, SocialTimes Pro </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clay McDaniel, Spring Creek Group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jodee Rich, PeopleBrowsr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Sherrod, Search Discovery Inc. </li></ul></ul>
Scenario #1 We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us After a falling out, John Smith, a long-standing strategic sponsor of your company is sharply negative about all aspects of the organization: leaders, staff, strategy, execution, etc. He remains a customer of your company. He actively and publicly shares his viewpoints through e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and his own blog, which has a small but dedicated readership. He often uses erroneous or skewed information to support his criticisms and is generally intransigent when confronted with accurate information. To date, the company’s leadership team have been reluctant to respond to him, but emboldened by the company’s silence, Smith has increased the frequency and the vitriol of his attacks, and is now questioning the company’s integrity as well as its financial decisions. Leadership has asked you to suggest a course of action to deal with him.
Scenario #1: Plot Twist PLOT TWIST: John Smith’s comments have gone “viral.” Now, industry trade-media has picked up the conversation. An interview is planned and your company executive is called to also comment.
Scenario #2 “ Winning” At All Costs Your technology company caters to health care professionals and has a prominent spokesperson that parlayed her success into a celebrity role. She has her own publications and frequently appears on TV news (CNN) and talk shows (Regis and Kelly) to discuss a wide range of health care issues. She is featured prominently on your company’s web site and in its online and off-line publications. As her celebrity grows, she dedicates more time to her media appearances and less to her practice. Her personal behavior also changes, and she engages in very public displays of poor judgment and potentially illegal behavior, including drinking, drug use and partying with a young male model. The member you held out as a paragon of your profession has just pulled a Charlie Sheen . What will you do?
Scenario #2 – Plot Twist PLOT TWIST: In one of her public appearances, the spokesperson alludes to using your technology to skate around industry regulations for ordering illegal pharmaceutical drugs, for herself and others. When confronted about it, she suggests that many other doctors in her profession do the same thing. The media are now seeking comment from your company on lack of oversight.
Scenario #3 When the Bough Breaks… Jennifer Aniston finally finds the man of her dreams, marries and soon announces that she is expecting a baby boy. At age 6 months, her son is injured and permanently disfigured when his high chair collapses unexpectedly. The high chair manufacturer is one of your clients. Comments on a variety of social media platforms start to erupt on Twitter, Facebook, You Tube; blaming your company for negligence. Every media outlet, from the Wall Street Journal and CNN to US Weekly and TMZ , is looking to the company for comment.
Scenario #3 – Plot Twist PLOT TWIST: Following an investigation, it is determined that the injury was caused by not putting the crib together properly – in other words user error. How do you correct the misperception spread online?
Scenario #4 Insert Foot in Mouth A member of your executive team is interviewed by the Huffington Post on a controversial issue affecting your company’s industry. Because he is supremely confident of his interviewing abilities, he chooses not to contact your office for advice and interview prep. In fact, you’re not even aware that he has been interviewed until the article is online; at that time, you discover that he has made a major blunder, saying something that is very damaging to the company and the profession. The blunder is tweeted by multiple sources and ultimately picked up by the Associated Press. In response, you quickly delete the tweet. Your boss wants you to explain how the executive could have been allowed to participate in the interview and what you’re going to do to put out the fire.
Scenario #4 – Plot Twist PLOT TWIST - Before the tweet is deleted, a well-known blogger has grabbed a screen shot of the incendiary tweet. Other bloggers start to comment and share the tweet on their pages. Before you know it, your story is number #1 on all the major search engines and it is “trending” on Twitter.
Scenario #5 Health Inspectors, Food Poisoning, Video…Oh My You represent a major fast food chain restaurant. After several health inspections and a few teenagers fall ill from food poisoning, the health department temporarily shuts one location down that just so happens to be in a major media market.
Scenario #5 – Plot Twist PLOT TWIST: Local television reporters near the chain that was shut down get wind of the situation from a disgruntled employee who has made a video of the severe roach problem. The video is shown on air. The local news has now gone national and other chains are impacted by the negative press. Franchise owners throughout the country are in need of help responding to the local media inquiries.
Thank you! Adele Cehrs President, Epic PR Group www.epicprgroup.com Tameka Kee Lead Researcher and Analyst, Social Times Pro www.mediabistro.com/socialtimes-pro Clay McDaniel Duane Brown Managing Director , Spring Creek Group Strategy Director, www.springcreekgroup.com Creative Traction www.creativetraction.com Jodee Rich Founder, PeopleBrowser www.peoplebrowser.com John Sherrod Director of SEO, Search Discovery Inc. www.searchdiscovery.com