In case you are wondering whether one information on social network(s) can have affect on corporate business and brand image - the answer is yes.
There are many different factors affecting the crisis, but can be classified into two categories - external and internal. External factors often can't be influenced - market changes or political and legislative changes. On the other hand, factors like employee or union dissatisfaction, unregulated working relations can become main drivers of internal crisis.
The crisis on social network(s) is a so-called devastating crisis because it can spread to a large number of users within a very short timeframe and lead to mass media.
24 hours was the golden rule for a reaction to a media crisis a while ago. Today, with social networks, you have 24 minutes. Crisis communication strategies are terms that every community manager needs to know.
Your social networks are "on fire", you have no idea how to react and do not have a crisis team?
Example: It is 22.30 and a certain someone posts something negative on your social networks. By 8 am, if you do not react on time, that negative post may become the latest news in all media.
What to do?
- define the source of the crisis
- consult with colleagues - do not worry, in such situations it is OK to call your colleagues even outside working hours
- develop a communication strategy
- don’t take responsibility till you make sure the criticism is true
- be available and prompt for any comments that will come up
Every community manager should differentiate proactive from reactive strategies.
Using case studies is a best way to learn how to react in crisis situations. And remember, you always come out smarter out of every crisis, no matter how bad it is. Learn from the examples how you should or should not communicate at the moment the crisis occurs.
KItchen Aid case study
In 2012 Kitchen Aid tweeted:
Can you imagine what kind of reactions this tweet on Obama's dead grandmother caused? Cynthia Soledad, the head of the KitchenAid brand, personally joined communication on Twitter: “I would like to personally apologize to President Barack Obama, his family and everyone on Twitter for the offensive tweet sent earlier. It was carelessly sent in error by a member of our Twitter team who, needless to say, won't be tweeting for us anymore. That said, I take full responsibility for my team. Thank you for hearing me out. „
Mrs. Soledad showed just how to react in a crisis situation in the best possible way: she got personally involved, reacted promptly, admitted the mistake and informed the public on the sanctions the company will undertake.
It is noteworthy that after settling the crisis a deep analysis of the situation needs to be done to make sure that a similar mistake does not happen again. Corporate communications department or your PR agency can help you on this one, as well as plan on how to improve the damaged image.