Yesterday, @PRNews asked followers, “What’s been the biggest PR crisis so far in 2015?”
Some responses were humorous . . .
Some were serious. Among the legitimate answers were the Germanwings crash, Indiana governor’s recent comments on religious freedom and the Hilary Clinton email situation.
Crises demand reaction. Although the Germanwings incident was no doubt one of the worst situations imaginable, responsibility and action was taken swiftly.
There’s no PERFECT, END-ALL social media crisis plan – but it is becoming necessary for all companies.
This Social Media Explorer article strives to articulate the role social media plays in a crisis plan. Integral points, COMIN AT YA:
Plan for things to go wrong
For a worrier like me, this is my part-time job. Instead of just fretting an unfortunate situation for your company, plan for it. It’s not IF – it’s WHEN. If your company is somehow separated or immediate action needs to be taken, who posts to social media? The intern? NO. Find out who takes over during a crisis situation.
Give ongoing updates
Germanwings is actually rocking this. Make your website and social media easy access to YOUR updates. Your company should be the first place people hear news from – or at least be consistent with released information. A few weeks after the crash, people outside the immediate town, friends and family still want to know if they should fly Germanwings any time soon.
On the other hand, #DeflateGate was handled kind of poorly by the Patriots . . . but SOMEHOW it all just went away after the Super Bowl.
Sensitivity, sensitivity, sensitivity (and awareness)
Bad things happen. Prepare to change your social media plan to crisis mode in an instant. Cancel scheduled posts, address the situation – whether it’s your company’s situation or a sensitive situation to your state, city or nation. If Germanwings posted about new complimentary snacks or flight tips for families with babies, people might be outraged (now, or the hour after the crash).
Your brand is your baby. Be gentle, have a plan and protect it.