|1 Know what the horizon looks like:
- Know what ‘normal’
- Understand the full range of conversations so that you can discriminate when something ‘bad’ happens.
2 Use the first 24 hours well:
- Establishing your facts in the first 6–12 hours is especially critical – otherwise you lose the opportunity to respond.
3 Understand that who is talking may be more important than how many are talking:
- The Percolation Phenomenon: with influencers and bloggers, the momentum escalates after 4–5 days
- Influential people: if the organisation is in a crisis, you need to triage your responses to converse with the most influential people – media, journalists, bloggers, industry organisations etc.
- Customers? Don’t overreact – make sure you know who/what/where.
4 Get your house rules in order on Facebook
- Australia is a Facebook country – 13 million are
on Facebook 8.8 hours a week
- Post your house rules e.g. We remove profanities, spam, repeat posts etc
- Follow through and remove posts that break the rules.
5 Stay Upright:
- Be prepared (e.g. in a product recall) to go the extra mile
- Create a social media press room.
6 Remember that engagement happens over the weekend:
- Facebook spikes are on Friday, Saturday
- Most pages don’t respond over weekends
- Leverage alerts to keep your listening posts running.
7 Get your apology right the first time:
- Say it once and say it right
- Defensive or half-hearted apologies issued quickly will extend a crisis
- C-suite needs to be ready and social media savvy.
8 Be aware that reputations are built and broken in ‘Search’:
- ‘Search’ is as important as your website
- It’s very hard to get rid of ‘Search’
- 80% of Internet users start their session on ‘Search'
9 Add a digital chapter to your crisis communications plan:
- Engage your digital team
- Do an inventory of ‘owned channels’
- Develop protocols for crisis monitoring
- Define when to respond
- List and train the right spokespeople
- Workshop the plan at least once a year.
Louise Denver, Director Corporate Affairs and Communications, Deloitte with acknowledgement to Social@Ogilvy