Monthly Archives: December 2013


As promised in my last post, here are the last five steps for managing an online crisis:

6. Always ensure your team feels empowered and involved by giving them the tools and resources to help.

7. Create a crisis FAQ were you can put all the information about the crisis in one place. This allows you to respond to questions, saves time and prevents misinterpretation of your responses. This crisis FAQ should include aspects from acknowledging of the crisis to steps taken to prevent future occurrence.

8. Developing a Pressure Relief Valve which will allow people to express their feelings on the crisis but in an environment which you can control. An example when this step was successful utilized was during the hype of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.  Penn State University used their own Facebook page as a median were students could communicate their anger. Hence, as it was their page they could see, find, moderate, and answer back.

9. It’s exceptionally important for companies to acknowledge when to take it offline. Managing a social media crisis is about reducing the damage control; therefore it is important to not get into any form of an argument with customers online. Hence, it may often be best to simply offer your phone number or email address, and encourage customers to contact you if they are unhappy with the overall outcome.

10.  After the crisis subsides and the company has regained control and resolved the issue; ensure you militate against any such similar crisis occurring in the future showing you learned you lesson. It may also be an idea to amend and improve your crisis plan for future reference.

Tune in next time for my final post which will incorporate some inspiring companies of how some outstanding companies handled their past social media crisis. It will be a great learning experience, trust me!!

Baer, J(2012) Don’t Be Scared Be Prepared – How to Manage a Social Media Crisis, [online], Available at:, (accessed 01/12/2013).

Dietrich, G (2013), Ten Steps of Managing an Online Crisis, [online], Available at:, (5/12/2013).

Remaining Steps for Managing a Social Media Crisis?

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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


Luckily for ye over my next two blog posts, I am going to discussing ten important steps to effectively handle an online social media crisis.

The first five steps for managing an online crisis:

1. To begin with it’s detrimentally important for the company to act swiftly. Not in a week, not in a month, not in three months. In the same day.

2. The company must address the problem by saying “yes, we realize something has happened”.  No company enjoys revealing to the public that they were wrong but it’s the only way to prevent a crisis for further escalating.  It also ensures the company keeps its credibility in the mind of the customers and its amazing how uttering two little words “I’m sorry”, can make such a difference.

3. It’s imperative to effectively communicate the story. Ensure customers fully understand what’s happened and how it happened from your point of view. If you fail to complete this step people will begin to speculate, therefore generating a poor image of the company.

4. It’s exceptionally important for the company to communicate where the crisis occurred, E.g. If the crisis initiated on Facebook, respond on Facebook first and then circulate the message on other platforms. An example of when this step was poorly executed was in 2012, when Kellogg’s during a Facebook-fueled crisis about the soy ingredients of their Kashi brand, responded with a YouTube video, which got no traction whatsoever.

5. The company should consider hiring a communications expert, who has a deep knowledge and experience in managing such issues or crisis’. This may include people work in public relations firms who specialize in crisis communication or reputation management.

Turn in next time to find out the remaining five steps to appropriately handle a social media crisis.

Baer, J(2012) Don’t Be Scared Be Prepared – How to Manage a Social Media Crisis, [online], Available at:, (accessed 01/12/2013).

Steps for Managing a Social Media Crisis?

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Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


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What Characterizes a Social Media Crisis?

Ten Steps for Managing an Online Crisis

One of the key elements in order to successfully militate against social media crisis is to have a pre-crisis planning. The main advantage is it acts as a lifeguard mode, and there are four elements of it:

The first involves utilizing social media software which is highly valuable for listening to customers online, as it’s hard to deal with a crisis if you can’t find. There are 5 categories of social media software::

  • Social Listening Software (Monitoring Software) -Radian 6
  • Social Conversation Software (Engagement Software)-  Argyle Social
  • Social Marketing Software (Management Software)-Wildlife
  • Social Analytic Software – Adobe/ Omniture
  • Social Influencer SoftwareAppinions.

The second is set a listening protocol. This is essential in order to fully understand who from your company is listening on the social web? When and for what are they listening?

Thirdly, many organisations do not understand what a real social media crisis is; hence, I have broken it down into three characteristics:

  • A social media crisis has information asymmetry: This is prevalent when the company fails to understand or know anymore than the public about what’s going on.
  • A social media crisis is a decisive change from the norm: Many organisations are heavily criticized such as Nike or Apple for their labour practices. This is normal, however, when a different line of criticism occurs, it’s a sign of a social media crisis.
  • A social media crisis has a potentially material impact on the company overall: Something insignificant like someone twitting about a minor mistake by a company isn’t a crisis. However, if someone is tweeting about a gunman taking over a restaurant; it is definitely characterized as a social media crisis (Scope and scale are important aspects).

Finally, the fourth includes creating a crisis flowchart that specifies who in your organization should be contacted in different scenarios,  the more acute the issue is, the more senior the responder.

Tune in next to learn, the steps to take when a real social media crisis occurs.


Baer, J(2012) Don’t Be Scared Be Prepared – How to Manage a Social Media Crisis, [online], Available at:, (accessed 01/12/2013).

Baer, J(2012), Clearing Clouds of Confusion – the 5 Categories of Social Media Software,  [online], Available at: (accessed 01/12/2013).


Posted by on December 8, 2013 in Uncategorized


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