The post is already up, the damaging tweet has already gone viral…. what’s next? When building a brand, it is imperative to have a crisis management strategy. We live in an era where businesses and corporate are required to have an online presence for credibility purposes and easy access of information by the clients.
Crisis management is an essential process and strategy developed by a business or organization to maintain a positive image and reputation should an unexpected crisis occur where the company is viewed by the public in a negative light.
A business can certainly be very equipped and prepared for mishaps in the online platforms, but it is almost not possible to predict events especially when one does not have full control of an operation. Things can spiral out of hand very fast as news and information are easily accessible, that means that a company’s reputation can be destroyed in a matter of minutes following a variety of unfortunate instances including: social mishap, competitor attacks, disgruntled customers, fired employee among others.
Not every situation will call for the same planning and practices as they will vary depending on the situation, however they are a few that remain constant and should be put in mind when dealing with a public relations crisis.
Set up alerts for company mentions on all social media accounts. This way all activities pertaining the company are closely watched and an onset of a crisis is nipped in the bud. Online tools such a Hoot suite, Google alerts will help by allowing you to monitor keywords related to your business. This is a good way to prevent a crisis from worsening.
Respond to mentions quickly whether positive or negative. Responding makes your brand more approachable, respected and trusted by customers
Understand the Social Media Landscape
It is paramount to take precautions when engaging in any social media platform. A wrong hashtag on twitter from the company can make things goes haywire. To prevent such an occurrence, ensure that hashtags used are well researched.
Acknowledge the Mistake
Acknowledge the issue as quickly as possible as digital conversations are fast-paced. Do not try to ignore it as this will make matters worse. Just be transparent with your audience.
Keep calm and let people vent
Do not engage in an argument or respond defensively. I advise you take a step back. Own up to the mistake and apologize, turn the negative to a positive. Turn the disgruntled and irate fans into loyal customers.