Digital Crisis Communications: Case Studies and Tips - July 2015


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With one of the freshest sets of examples of crises, from sad revelations about Jared / Subway and Bill Cosby, to constant feet-in-mouth celebrities Donald Trump and Paul Deen, to business upheavals like Reddit and United, Scott Monty presents some key takeaways and lessons on handling a crisis in the digital era.

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  • United’s computer system went down
    The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading after a glitch in its system
    The Wall Street Journal website stopped working
    2,500 Washington, DC residents lost power
  • Ernest Shackleton: leader and exemplar in times of crisis
  • The Endurance, from the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917
  • South Georgia Island
  • The first wave of the expedition, until the Endurance was trapped in ice
  • The ship eventually was trapped in ice floes from January – October 1915
  • Shackleton and team camped on the ice floes and eventually abandoned ship in October 1915 when the ship was crushed. The continued their journey on foot and launched a lifeboat to make land at Elephant Island (April 9-15, 1916)
  • Shackleton chose 5 crew members to set off on an 800-mile journey to South Georgia over two weeks
  • The full journey of Shackleton’s team – from December 1914 – August 1916
  • Shackelton returned to Elephant Island – not a single crew member was lost during the expedition.
  • Reddit had a bad week
  • Paula Deen doesn’t know when to stop.
  • United hates software
  • God’s gift to crisis communications
  • The investigation of Jared by the FBI spilled over into Subway’s communications
  • If you think Jared had a bad week…
  • EL James had a Twitter chat
  • …but it didn’t go quite as planned.
  • Bobby Jindal had every opportunity to learn from EL James (THE DAY BEFORE!) but opted not to.
  • was invented for annotating rap lyrics. But it has another use…
  • Use Twitter lists to your advantage
  • for employee engagement
  • Digital Crisis Communications: Case Studies and Tips - July 2015

    1. Digital Crisis Communications: A Survival Guide Dallas SEM & SMC July 8, 2015
    2. About Scott Monty • Two decades of agency and brand experience • Strategic communications consultancy founded, 2015 • This Week in Digital newsletter • @scottmonty
    3. “There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” - Henry Kissinger
    4. Lessons from Shackleton • Be prepared to dig in and go the distance • Assign roles • Be flexible • Pick your point people well • Have the right tools
    5. Two kinds of crises Unplanned / immediate • Natural disasters • Industrial accidents • Acts of terrorism Foreseen / emerging • Product recalls • Security breach / hacks • Rogue employees • Dissatisfied customers • Stupid marketing/PR decisions
    6. Crisis management tips
    7. 1. Stop doing whatever is causing the crisis
    8. 2. Know who your influencers are
    9. 3. Listen / monitor
    10. 4. Say something. Silence spurs rumors.
    11. 5. Messaging should be appropriate for and on platforms where it’s happening
    12. 6. Journalists use Twitter to mine for news
    13. 7. Communicate from your people, not logos rangerfire
    14. 8. Integrate all channels – paid, earned, owned
    15. 9. Admit your mistakes
    16. 10. Prepare your employees Gaggle Amp
    17. Serenity now!
    18. Thank you @scottmonty