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Social Media Crisis Response Plan


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Monitoring social media on behalf of an organisation is key to online reputation management. But not every online mention requires a response. Here is a decision tree to help communicators decide on action - or inaction - when you, or someone else in your organisation, sees a potentially damaging comment or report about their brand. We also offer the Social Media action points to enhance your digital monitoring/response programme. This "decision tree" builds upon the US Air Force Public Affairs web posting response assessment process.... To learn more about our Social Media Crisis Communications training and workshops, please contact the authors at bwarner [at]

Published in: Technology, Business
  • For those interested in learning more about crisis communications in the social media era, please contact the authors of this report at
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Social Media Crisis Response Plan

  1. 1. Social Media Crisis Response Plan Social media make crisis communications and reputation management more complex - whilst at the same time offering an opportunity to improve an organization’s response strategy. This guide is a simple process to help communications profes- sionals incorporate social media and digital communications into their crisis comms planning and response process. ONLINE LISTENINGRESOURCES There’s a variety of listening tools. They can give real- time reports on FREE SUBSCRIPTION what’s said about your organiza- • Google Alerts/ • Lithium tion, who is talking and the general Trends Google • radian6 tone (+ive/-ive etc.) search • BuzzMetrics • Set clear monitoring objectives/ See our decision • Bing • Alterian targets/parameters tree for evaluation- • SocialMention • Trackur • Set up ‘intelligent monitoring’ - response options • Wazzup • Meltwater buzz quality vs quantity • Wikipedia • Buzz Capture • Accept that issues will be • Flickr • Hootesuite missed • Twitter Search • Market Sentinel • Refine over time • Topsy • Don’t discount your instincts; • Tweetscan software has limitations • Yelp NO New services come and go; stay up-to-date! Do we have a problem? YESRESOURCES 4 P’s ACTIVATE THE CRISIS TEAM Activate a cross-functional team to speed up the • POLICIES - already agreed process of: • PLANS - established and tested • PLATFORMS - identified and integrated • Information gathering and analysis • PEOPLE - trained • Information production • Information dissemination • Engagement • Inquiry management and response Management - Marketing - Communications - IT - Legal should be part of or linked to the team Do we need to respond, share information? YESRESOURCES • Blog • Quora SHOTGUN OR SHARPSHOOT • Google+ • PIER Systems Choose the channels that will reach your audiences di- • Twitter • Website rectly or help spread information as widely as possible. • YouTube • Ushahidi • Prepare for a conversation • Facebook • Cross-link and consider taking your message off- site to where conversation is most active • Help the crowd help you • Be pro-active and re-active Are people finding our information? YES NORESOURCES• Google Adwords • Yandex HOTWASH ADJUST• Google Insights • Rakuten• Google Trends • Baidu Use SEO tactics (yes, even when Use SEO and measurement tools• Google Analytics • Weibo bad news strikes) and measure- to understand info flow. ment tools to understand how • Identify gapts SEO* Tactics information flowed. • Set clear targets/objectives *Search Engine Optimization • Identify improvements • Communicate learnings • Remember: search engine • Recalibrate your 4 P’s preference differs by countryFor more info on our social media crisis communications training & workshops: