June 22, 2015
/ by Guest Contributor
It takes only a minute for a crisis to harm your brand, especially in the age of social media. But what can you do when the masses control the message?
Peter LaMotte discussed at his recent webinar, showing the keys to crisis management, how you can reduce brand vulnerability by preparing for crises in peacetime and more.
The webinar generated a lot of discussion, and Peter didn’t have time to answer all of the questions. Below Peter answers many of the questions he couldn’t get to, teaching us how to deal with crisis communication in a social world.
A: The key for any industry, especially ones where brand engagement is absent online, is to monitor for terms associated with your brand and industry. For example, term association may be technical or may be labor related, but because threats to a brand can come from anywhere, it’s important for a brand to be actively listening beyond just their brand name or product.
A: Monitoring is more about listening to conversations that may or may not directly involve your brand. You should listen to your competitors, associations, suppliers and customers. After all, when the crisis hits anywhere within your supply chain, it will affect you one way or another.
A: You should never delete Facebook posts unless they violate terms that you have set out (and of course Facebook policy). The better option is to engage in the discussion. Address concerns and drive them to other platforms to get more information or if needed drive them offline to get more help to solve their issue.
A: Just remember that it takes time to build that network. In some cases it can take years to build a hard-core loyalty. However, start by engaging with those online who are already talking about your industry. If you are creating a new industry, look for those engaged in adjacent industries.
Want to see Peter’s whole webinar? Click here to watch it on-demand for free now!
A: I hate to say it, but “it depends.” In my opinion, you start locally to support the larger efforts. Engagement is all about storytelling, and it is a lot easier to find those engaging stories locally. Use them to tell your larger brand story nationally.
A: It would depend on the legal and business ramifications. However, in your crisis team’s planning sessions, it should be considered.
A: The first thing to do when you find out about a potential crisis is convene the crisis team. If you have your scenarios prepared, it will guide you closely to what you need to react to and what you can wait to pass by.
A: More often than not lawyers are the ones that call on crisis firms. If you have a lawyer afraid to speak to the press, then show them a reality where you don’t respond. Give them the examples that illustrate companies that ignored public opinion.
A: Look for the silver linings that make for good storytelling. FEMA is a perfect example. There are numerous stories of how they have put peoples lives back together.
A: Having run a start-up for a few years, I fully appreciate how difficult it can be to stay on top of best practices. My personal recommendation is to take a little time each day to read relevant blogs. Also when you see events that other companies are dealing with, make sure that you pay special attention to how they communicate, reach and address the issue. There is a lot to learn from other’s mistake and successes.
A: When you are stretched thin or simply don’t have the staff, put the onus on one or two individuals to deal with the crisis, rather than a whole team. However, make sure that those who you have appointed are especially communicative as to their approach, plan and response.
A: You should always maintain awareness. The rule I try to stand by is: if it is no longer affecting your business in any current or potential way, then move on.
A: The key when you are part of a larger organization is coordinate. Even as the local or regional office you are representing the larger brand. Often the parent body will allow you to run with the strategy, but you always want to make sure you communicate back so that everyone is on the same page.
A: I hate to say it, but “it depends.” Leaving comments open anywhere means that you need to read and engage with those comments. If you don’t have the resources to manage all of your social outlets, then limit what you allow comments on. Never be caught with a platform that is unmonitored. You risk a discussion about your brand taking place without your voice being in the mix.
Want more crisis communication advice? Click here for our free 8-step guide now!
Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.
Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.
Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.
1-312-922-2400from 8 AM - 5 PM CT