Social Crisis: Threat or opportunity?

28 January 2015

A crisis is the perception of an unpredictable event which can seriously impact an organization, threaten stakeholder expectations, and/or generate negative outcomes.

However, while crises are unpredictable, they are not unexpected! Warning signs are often in the air, and wise practitioners should identify them as they manifest themselves. Monitoring traditional and digital media and carefully prioritizing feedback, can prevent many incidents from quickly spiraling out of control. However, there are times when abrupt, unforeseen events can cause a severe communication crisis; for these cases, brands would be wise to keep these strategic options in their crisis toolbox:

Be prepared | have a crisis management plan ready to implement

Depending on your industry, your organization should prepare a plan covering the most common types of crisis; natural disasters, rumors, technical errors, product harm or human mistakes, all of these should be on the table. The plan should be updated regularly and employees should practice regular drills – teams are most effective when they train. Especially for the social media, Globe One Digital is available to assist you in preparing a proper management plan, with years of experience and a wealth of up-to-the-minute know-how when it comes down to implementing the latest technology.

Be fast | the 1 hour golden rule

Response time in the age of social media is crucial. Not so long ago, organizations could enjoy a day or two between event-to-response actions, typically deploying daily newspapers or press conferences. Today, marketers must comprehend, evaluate, and react within the hour. Social media is audience driven; your website and/or your official social accounts are the first-stop shops for consumer information. Be sure to inform them before others do!

Be truthful | full disclosure

If you do not know all the facts, admit it. Need more time to get the facts straight? Let your audience know. Avoid “no comment” and take responsibility - own the issue. Be consistent, speak with one voice and answer your audience's questions and concerns. Offer regular updates and emergent facts, but do not unduly prolong the pain! Eventually your goal is to overcome the crisis, protect your reputation, and move on.

Trust the experts | evaluate your results

In order to avoid similar crises from happening in the future, you should evaluate your performance and results and outline what you could have done differently. Moreover, adding this evaluation to your management plan will offer a valuable source of knowledge for the next team to work with.

Overcoming a social crisis can be an excellent opportunity to strengthen your brand’s reputation and reestablish your relationship with your audiences.

Contact us today and find out how we can help youprepare, avoid and deal with a potential social crisis!


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