Crisis or not? What you do in the first few hours will decide

It can happen to the best of companies. Consumer complaints, negative comments, allegations of wrongdoing or bad behaviour or being on the wrong side of an emerging social issue can happen to the best of companies.

There is no such thing as perfect systems, processes or people.

Bad things happen. 

What happens in the first few hour after problems start to pick up momentum will decide whether you have a crisis. You have to move fast.

That means engaging quickly and in the right way with key stakeholders like consumers, which reduces the level of emotion and gives you time to investigate, assess and develop a response strategy.

I’m Steve Hather from CrisisClarity. We help food and consumer goods companies prevent a social media crisis and keep more customers through training, coaching and real-time crisis simulations without the PR fluff.

Different people within your team will have different - and perfectly valid but often conflicting perspectives. I know how frustrating it can be. Everyone has a different opinion and in the midst of a crisis it can be easy to focus on the wrong thing.You have to get your team on the same page fast.

The best way to do that is to identify a small core team - 3 or 4 people from different functional areas - usually marketing & communications, customer service and quality  for example, and work your way through some real complaints you’ve had or your competitors have had or cases studies within your industry. Pull them apart and discuss how they could have been managed better, how you could have engaged more effectively, where your processes could be tightened up. 

Doing this as a team rather than within functional silo’s is going to help all of you understand those key perspectives and help you bring them together to focus on what’s really important in a potential crisis - the long term interests of the business and keeping more customers. 

If you’d like more information on how to stop a reputation crisis in this age of social media, you need to get a copy of my free guide - No FMCG company should ever have a reputation crisis - the 5 mistakes to avoid. Type “guide” in the comments section and I’ll send you a copy, email me or download it from our website

I’ll also put a link in the comments section. 

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk with you soon. 

#socialmediacrisismanagement #socialmediacrisis #crisismanagement #crisiscommunication #reputationrisk #managingsocialmedia

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