Google a phrase like “social media outcry” and you’ll see hundreds of headlines dated within the last 24 hours about the latest nightmare for public relations executives.
The controversies usually follow this pattern: Something is posted on a social network that probably didn’t need to there in the first place, and spreads like wildfire before the subject of the post — or those representing it — responds.
Too often the response comes too late because the poster needs to obtain approval from someone higher up on the food chain.
In an ideal world, the original offending post would be prevented from going up in the first place. While that’s wishful thinking, the next best thing is do-able: a nearly instant response made possible by preapproved templates designed for emergencies.
We’re talking about the social media equivalent of fire drills. And we’ve got just the thing for you to do your own advance preparation for emergencies on social media: a form you can download and share with management — and an attorney — so you can create pre-approved messages for different worst-case scenarios.
Of course, one hopes that emergencies never happen in the first place, but set that aside when filling in the worksheet. To come up with the hypothetical scenario for the first field on the form, think of the worst possible thing that could happen to your brand or profiles on social media. Then think about how you might try to placate customers and the public to minimize damages. And consider using a coupon or giveaway — even creating one just for this type of occasion — that you could give to those affected by the problem.
We recommend that you go through this exercise at least once, but completing several of them will optimally prepare you for any unwanted surprises. For an example of a completed emergency form, check out our Social Media Strategy Summit presentation scheduled for 2 pm PST December 7. Get a 10% discount on registration by using the promotional code SPEAKVIP.
Please let us know in the comments section what you think about the social media emergency form. Also, feel free to share any experiences you may have had with online crises — how did you deal with them?