A company may never know when a crisis will strike; therefore, they need to be prepared for one to happen when unexpected. Social media can make or break how successful your damage control will be perceived by the public. Here are three tips that I have collected to help you make a pre-crisis plan of action so you are not caught off-guard by a crisis.
- Identify your social media crisis team– It is important to have a strong team that will effectively handle your company’s reputation during this time of gaining the public’s trust again. When building your team pre-crisis make sure you take into consideration the skills and work ethic that they showcase. Your team needs to encompass the values and morals of the company. Also, this team needs to be prepared to possibly work longer hours if a crisis does happen because they will constantly need to monitoring what the media is saying about your company and the crisis and also keeping the public up-to-date on new information as your company receives the news.
- Brainstorm possible crises that could happen with your company- The first action of the crisis team needs to be sitting down and doing research about past crisis. Knowing how other companies handled crises will help realize what were effective and wrong ways of communicating during a sensitive time. Also, while researching past crises, the team needs to start collecting a list of possible crisis that could happen to your company and what each type of crisis plan of action would be. When creating these plans, it is helpful to look back at the research you did on other companies’ responses to crises.
- Identify and train spokespersons- The next task for your team needs to be to find the perfect spokesperson when the company is going to be effected by a crisis. It needs to be someone that has good interpersonal skills and emotions that will connect with the public well. Finding the correct spokesperson means they will have the right skills, the right position, and the right training. Once you found the spokesperson, you must then train them on how to react in all of the crisis situations and plans that you have drawn up.
Don’t be the company that sits back and says “that will never happen to us” because we live in a world where there are constantly unforeseen crisis happening everyday. Be prepared.