Thursday, April 16, 2009

Social Media and Crisis Communication

Time to revise your crisis communication plans to include the effects of social media.  Because of social media channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, word (both positive and negative) spreads faster than ever.  Just ask the latest victim, Dominos Pizza.

So what can you do to keep your brand ahead of the 140 character or viral video storm?
  1. Figure out who the source of the social attack is, where it's coming from, and how widespread it is.
  2. Create an honest response as soon as possible.  Just like traditional crisis communication get it out quick even if it is to say you are looking into the situation and will get back with more information soon.
  3. Don't make a broad statement.  Make your statement on the social media channel(s) in which it came from.  That way you are not creating more attention to others who may not have heard.
  4. Keep your tone upbeat and professional and show your company cares about fixing the situation.
The playing field is just a little different but the same quick crisis communication tips for traditional media apply to social media:
  • Get it right - communicate correct information
  • Get it quick - communicate promptly to key audience
  • Get it out - communicate your positive key messages
  • Get it over with - resolve situation as quickly as possible
In Dominos case, they've taken action and have responded very fast.  They have a strong brand, a good product and should be fine.


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