Updated: Jul 2
The current model of crisis communication doesn’t work. Most companies are very much aware of the importance of social media for engaging with consumers and building brand loyalty, but when things go wrong, cut themselves off from consumers with one-way media announcements full of PR fluff. It’s an outdated model.
I’m Steve Hather from CrisisClarity. We help food and consumer goods companies prevent a social media crisis and keep more customers through real-time crisis simulations without the PR fluff.
There is much talk in the marketing and communications space about the importance of authenticity and transparency for building brand loyalty and trust.
At the very time this trust is under pressure - when consumer complaints and negative comments are starting to circulate on social media, companies resort to one-way announcements. The media statement.
This carefully crafted statement is sent to the media in the hope they’ll use it. The best they get is small sound bite. You have no control.
Many companies also place that statement on their website often buried a few pages in under "media releases”.
I did a quick review of product recall announcements in Australia recently. Of 25 recent recalls, only two actually put anything on their social media pages and one of those was simply a copy of the official recall notice with no opportunity for comments.
Only one company took the time to answer consumer questions and concerns. No wonder recalls are so ineffective.
Consumers don’t engage with lengthy PR statements or cold notices. Very few will call your call centre. If you’re not answering consumers questions and concerns on social media - their preferred platform, they will still be talking about you but they’re taking those conversations somewhere else. In fact even the media increasingly use consumer comments on social media in their stories.
You CAN control your social media sites in a crisis
You have absolute control over every word you put on your social media sites.
So, if you're looking to build trust and be authentic, start engaging with consumers when it’s most needed and on their preferred platform.
If you’d like more information on how to prevent a social media crisis, download our free guide "No FMCG company should ever have a reputation crisis - 5 mistakes to avoid" by clicking here.