It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t participate in social media today, and even harder to find someone who isn’t at least aware of it. Social media is very possibly one of the fastest things on the planet! Videos go viral at blazing speeds, sometimes without even seeming to make sense. You just never know. Unless of course, you are a PR specialist. These professionals have their finger on the pulse of social media each and every minute of the day. That’s why it’s so crucial for businesses to count on PR agencies for their social media management.
Equally as important as having a PR representative for social media is having one to help handle crisis management. Because social media moves at lightning speeds, a resulting crisis can happen at any given moment. When it does, you’re going to need a clear chain of command, a list of responsibilities and stakeholders, and a solid plan. That’s the only way you’re going to make it through a crisis involving social media. You must be prepared.
Best case scenario, of course, is: Before it begins, prevent the crisis. Let’s look at some brand and business media crisis management tips.
A very important part of crisis management response is internal communication. You can help prevent the spread of rumors and misinformation by keeping everybody on the same page.
Don’t Argue – Just Engage
Once the initial response to a crisis has been posted, more in-depth messaging should be worked on by key staff. This could entail a video or letter from the CEO, an official statement, or press release. If someone was extremely negative about you online, you’ll have to engage with them – but don’t argue.
Scheduled Posts – Stop Them
During times of social media crisis, you’ll end up looking ridiculous if you just post your same old, run-of-the-mill, business as usual information. Your public is going to be looking for something different. Special circumstances require special posts.
Have a Plan in Place
In order to respond to any potential issue quickly, it is essential that a social media crisis communication plan be in place companywide. You don’t just react to a crisis – you plan for one.
What Exactly Is a Crisis?
It’s not a crisis if somebody says something rude about you online. In fact, it’s expected. COVID-19 and its effect on multiple businesses is a crisis. Too many negative comments, however, can be a crisis waiting to potentially explode. PR specialists can recognize truly volatile situations and help head them off at the pass.
Identify Potential Issues through Social Listening
This goes hand-in-hand with what was just discussed above. Before it turns into a crisis, you can spot emerging issues with a good social listening program put together by a qualified PR representative. They keep an eye on social sentiment and monitor it closely.
Accounts Must Be Secure
More likely than hackers causing a cybersecurity crisis are your employees – albeit unwittingly. A social media crisis can quickly entail when passwords are weak and social media security risks are present. A PR specialist can help with a centralized system to grant appropriate access levels and use permissions within your company.
Policy For Social Media
One of the easiest crises to avoid is something inappropriate being posted by an employee. This is where any number of social media crises begin. If your company has a solid social media policy, problems like this can be avoided. Ask your PR representative about the guidelines you should be following.
Finally, Let Experience Be An Instructor
That’s a fancy way of saying “Learn from experience.”
It would be a shame to walk away from a crisis without having learned anything. It would all be for naught. When the crisis has cleared, look at what happened. Debrief and examine it. List everything you did and how happy you are with the results.
Got a Crisis? Get JoTo on Your Side!
Many agencies today operate on a PR mold that has become far too used and abused. At JoTo PR, we break that mold to serve our clients more effectively and efficiently. We like to refer to it as “Anti-PR”. There is a science to crisis management, and we put it to good use every day for our clients. Remember, however, that crisis management is only one aspect of effective PR.
Yes, the days of those old, every day, established PR methods are over. We have an edge thanks to our codified body of knowledge and the improvement of the old school way of executing PR. What does this mean for you and your company? Bigger and better achievements than ever before!
Contact us today to find out more.