Crisis Management In The Digital Age

In today’s world, the making or breaking of a brand can happen in a very short period of time thanks to social media. This is about how do you deal with a crisis.

Most big companies have a separate PR department to handle crises. What about the companies that do not have one? The ones that can’t afford to call a press conference? The answer is quite simple “Social Media”.

If you do not have a good presence on social media then please do take a look at this article How To Maximise Your Impact On Social Media Platforms to ensure that you get your brand to a certain level which would justify your investment of time and resources for damage control & PR activities.

The List:

  1. Acknowledge the problem: The first basic step is to acknowledge the problem. Accept that it exists. This will ensure that consumers feel that the company isn’t hiding anything.
  2. Meet it head-on: Are you taking steps to meet the issue head-on? What are you doing to ensure that you are on the right track?
  3. Do not try to sugarcoat it: This is a big NO. If consumers get wind of this then it will explode on Social media in a very uncontrolled manner.
  4. How do you plan to rectify it: What is your action plan? What updates are you providing your consumers with?
  5. Upload a video: Once the issue is resolved, do upload a video detailing how the company handled it and assure your audience that it won’t happen again.

How do you ensure that all of the efforts that you have put into this will reach your audience? Social media is the most simple and easiest way to do this. Here are a few things that you can do.

  1. Timely updates: Give your audience/consumers timely updates on what is happening and how you are handling it.
  2. Assurance: Give them assurances that things are getting done on time.
  3. # Tag’s: Create a # tag around the incident and start a conversation with your audience.
  4. Helping hand: Don’t hesitate to ask your audience for advice but do remember to ask them on channels that you can monitor. This way the dialogue is controlled and doesn’t get bent out of proportion.
  5. Resources: Even if you are short-handed, at the time of a crisis do not hesitate to assign resources to help you get the message out on Social media.

Once all of this is done, put in efforts to create a digital marketing campaign. It has to be done fast before people forget about the incident. This campaign is to ensure that you still care for your audience and want to come back stronger than ever.

Now let’s look at simple ways by which most companies can tackle the crisis.

  1. Have a new feed on your website with regular updates.
  2. Write a blog post regarding the incident, why it happened, how was it handled and what the company is doing to ensure that it never happens again. It should be in the form of a case study so that other companies can learn from it.
  3. Ask your support team to send out personalised emails to your clients assuring them that this is being taken care of and also send them once the issue has been resolved.

All the things mentioned above can be done by any company of any size. These are necessary things for any company to follow during a time of crisis. I did speak to a couple of business owners and what I found was shocking. The smaller the company the amount of time they allot towards these activities drastically reduces. Almost 60% don’t have a plan to handle a crisis.They just feel that since they own a small business, people don’t pay much attention as to how they handle the situation. They actually do!