Social Media and Crisis Communication

The theme of the week is social media as it pertains to crisis communication.

Crisis communication occurs when a company engages in unprofessional conduct, an accidental social media update, a twitter hashtag gone wrong etc. and then has to respond to or “clean up” the resulting damage.

According to Bernstein Crisis Management, there are 10 steps of crisis communication.

Step 1: Anticipate the Crisis, if you’re proactive it’s a lot easier to handle whatever situation occurs.

2. Identify Your Crisis Communications Team, preferably a small team of senior execs able to think on their feet.

 

3. Identify and Train Spokespersons, be sure to pick people who are good under pressure.

 

4. Spokesperson Training

5. Establish Notification and Monitoring Systems, Be sure you’re monitoring your social media at all times for signs of negativity, Hootsuite is a great program for this

6. Identify and Know Your Stakeholders

7. Develop Holding Statements, messages designed and worded specifically for crisis communications.

8. Assess the Crisis Situation, Don’t react without adequate information!

 

9. Finalize and Adapt Key Messages

10. Post-Crisis Analysis, figure out what was effective and what wasn’t for next time.

For more information on crisis communication these are excellent websites:

http://www.instituteforpr.org/crisis-management-and-communications/

http://www.niu.edu/newsplace/crisis.html

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