Every time is a bad time for a communications breakdown. Problems may arise as a result of a poorly made product, a poorly executed marketing strategy, or an inadvertent gaffe made by a higher-up.
It makes no difference what field you work in or how well-known you have been up to this moment. The unexpected can and does occur on occasion.
As with any eventuality, you ought to be aware.
Hence, to help you be prepared, we have compiled this brief guide on handling a crisis. In the event of an emergency, double-check that you’ve taken all necessary precautions.
Ahead of the Big Day
Form a team
Each employee is vital, but they can’t all be on the crisis team.
Gather a team of reliable responders, and assign each person a specific duty.
Executives (to enforce decisions), managers (to coordinate), and creatives (to think outside the box) all play an important role (to craft the right message).
Yeah, and it helps to have a lawyer.
Consider the following when you assemble your team:
Who will be responsible for driving the plan forward, delegating work, and keeping the group on track?
Whose job is it to anticipate and track possible crises?
To whom will you be reporting this information?
Who will be in charge of handling social media and questions?
Who exactly will be responsible for responding to any messages received via unorthodox means?
Who among the executives will serve as the company’s official spokesman to the press?
Figure out who does what while you still have some leeway in the planning stages.
The next step is to consider the many emergencies you may encounter.
Explain what you mean by the term “crisis”
There’s a requirement to provide the triggers that will initiate the new strategy.
The “code red” button shouldn’t be pressed at the first sign of trouble.
Having a working definition of a crisis will be essential for this.
Jay Baer identifies three hallmarks of a social media crisis:
When you don’t have any more information than the general public has about what’s going on, this is called information asymmetry.
Altering the norm: Normal complaints about your items are not an emergency. It’s a problem when your items start blowing up for no apparent reason.
Major threat to the company: In spite of how obvious it may be, the scale of the problem really matters. A crisis is a situation that has serious and widespread negative consequences.
Establish standards and identify actual cases of crises with your new staff.
There is the additional benefit of seeing flaws you would have overlooked otherwise.
Establish the central point of your argument
Your public response to a crisis will likely determine how successful you are.
It doesn’t matter how well thought out your strategy is or how competent your staff is if you send out the wrong message.
As you are unaware of the nature of the issue, you cannot prepare an appropriate reaction at this time. Instead, you should pinpoint your company’s key beliefs and the benefits you offer to clients.
This should form the basis of your strategy for dealing with adversity.
For what reason is this so crucial?
Acceleration to the speed of light is to be expected. You can’t possibly keep tabs on everything every spokesperson or social media manager says or writes, no matter how hard you try.
What you can do is make sure the most crucial details are communicated.
Customers are more likely to stick around if you emphasise the benefits they received from doing business with you.
When seconds count in a crisis
Put it in order
We hope this checklist will be useful in getting things back on track. A detailed manual for use when things become difficult.
You should use the checklist to get the whole rundown. Let’s just skim the highlights for now, shall we?
In the meanwhile, please hold off on posting
It’s easy to lose track of your whole social queue while chaos is erupting all around you.
When your product has just resulted in significant damage or death, you can’t afford to tweet anything like “Happy #ThrowbackThursday — Have a great day,” as Charli Day puts it.
That’s an extreme case, yet it illustrates your idea beautifully.
Be open and honest about the situation
You won’t be able to stay under the radar for very long, especially on the internet.
It’s in your best interest to make it apparent that you’re aware of the issue and taking steps to rectify it. Even so, it should give you some time before you start getting too many furious comments.
Get the word out to the team
You probably didn’t assemble such a top-notch security force for nothing. Get in touch with them immediately and put them to work.
In certain cases, you may be able to reduce the total damage by acting fast.
Put up a lengthy reply on your webpage
The number of short, personalised tweets you’ll be sending out will increase dramatically.
But, you should have a central location where journalists and bloggers can go to get your side of the story.
Time is money, and posting this reply will buy you some.
You’ll have a location to send folks who need quick replies so you may focus on more crucial tasks.
Lastly, “do not lose your composure. Ever.”
After the smoke clears, we can assess what went wrong.
When a social media disaster occurs
Find out how your brand is doing
Your monitoring system is useful once again in this situation.
Information about a typical workweek should be on hand so that you may draw meaningful comparisons to the “crisis week” you’re experiencing. It won’t take long for you to realise how dire the situation has become.
Consider the number of unfollows, the number of complaints, and the overall level of unfavourable opinion about your brand on social media.
You may also check how well your reaction worked in other situations.
While you may have spent hours poring over Twitter and replying to individual users, the reach and popularity of a single Facebook post far outpaced your efforts.
The depth of the damage to your reputation may be gauged with this sort of information, allowing you to make more informed decisions about the future.
Here are some things you should ask yourself when you draught this piece of your strategy:
What key performance indicators will you use to judge how well you handled the crisis?
To what end will the resulting unfavourable talk be evaluated?