November 19, 2015 / by Katie Gaab

When a tweet catches smoke and spreads misunderstanding about your brand, how do you respond?

Sixty percent of organizations lack a specific strategy to put out the fire. Without a plan to turn to, your brand and all those associated in the matter look like headless chickens.

Crises, both internal and external, hit brands every day. Avoid turning a crisis into a disaster by developing a media crisis plan that involves those who sway opinions on social media everyday: influencers.

Follow these three simple steps to partner with a social media influencer:

1. Start Small

Don’t attempt to reach out to every influencer on your target list to help clean up a messy situation. Avoid complicating the matter more and look to those who already support the same efforts you do.

Celebrity influencers have a super following, but that doesn’t mean each fan is listening to every tweet they post. Your crisis plan should focus on those who can help your responses and ongoing communication go viral. Consider working with a social media influencer who has a close connection and high engagement rate with their audience.

Struggling to build out your crisis communication plan? Get help with our free white paper!

2. Engage During Peacetime

Influencer outreach takes time and successful relationships require nurturing, but true and authentic engagement will ensure social media influencers carry your brand’s flag during peacetime and times of trouble.

Know which platforms your social media influencers prefer and be there to share their information. Comment on topics they’re passionate about to increase their excitement in working with you and interest in defending your brand.


3. Keep It Simple

Crisis plans should be centered on making communication readily available and easy to understand. If you simulate crises regularly, your brand will have a better understanding of what types of holding statements and social messaging need to be drafted.

Share this information with your social media influencers so they know the angle and tone of voice you’ll use when a crisis hits. Keep an eye on public sentiment with social media listening tools to better prepare your social media influencers on what may be bubbling up. Make it easy for social media influencers to get on board and defend your brand.


Images: Andrew MagillGinny (Creative Commons)

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.