Various videos, tweets and other forms of online content are continuously going viral, engaging millions of people around the world in a matter of minutes. If a particular piece of viral content happens to impact your brand negatively, however, this can pose a serious problem, says PR expert Danny Whatmough in an article for Econsultancy. The advice below is based on a social crisis simulation which he took part in, along with other professionals in the field of public relations.
Whatmough lists five tips that marketers should consider when dealing with such a crisis. These include managing available human resources and being able to put as many trained staff on the task as possible. This is a necessity as the speed at which things spread on social media can be astronomical, which in turn demands great concentration for successful crisis resolution.
Another thing is not to focus solely on social channels and the crisis there, forgetting other possible stakeholders. Whatmough suggests devising a plan for spreading the word among these stakeholders and in traditional media to mitigate the effect of the social crisis. That said, brands should keep in mind that with Twitter’s growing popularity, anything they post there can be considered a press statement. They could leverage this by making sure they post an update on the channel along with longer, more traditional press releases for other digital and offline channels.
When sharing the brand’s viewpoint on a particular issue, marketers and PR specialists should also strive to be flexible with regard to the tone of the message, letting the channel determine the choice. What works on Twitter won’t work on LinkedIn and vice versa. Transparency and speed are essential, concludes Whatmough.