Friday, March 29, 2013

Still No New Crises Just A Quicker Way To Get Hammered

The other day a long-time associate and I were talking about a non-crisis that came close to becoming a real one because of speculation that reared its ugly head on the social media.

As I was briefing her on the non-incident and how quickly it got attention on Facebook and Twitter, she asked if I was willing to admit there are "new" crises?  The Institute for Crisis Management has preached for 20-years there are no new crises.  There is nothing bad that can happen to you and your business or organization that hasn't already happened to someone else.

I assured her that so far, I've still not seen any new crises, HOWEVER, almost weekly we see crises that are variations on the same old themes but requiring almost instant response.

In other words, the same kinds of damaging events keep popping up, but they strike and spread so much more quickly than ever.

For some of our younger readers and clients it may be hard to comprehend the difference in just a few years.  It hasn't been all that many years ago, an organization could have something go wrong and it might take a few days for a newspaper reporter to find out about it.  Then, the first story appeared in print and you had hours to prepare a response and almost 24-hours before the "second" story appeared with your side included.

Then radio news came along and sped up the spread of "bad news" and pressed organizations in trouble to respond quicker.  Television news created a whole new challenge to respond and nothing much has changed in recent years, UNTIL the explosion of  social media.

And, the only thing that has really changed, is how prepared you must be and how quickly you must react and respond if you want to get the problem behind you and get back to normal or the new normal in your company or organization.

There are still the same tried and true rules of engagement, such as identifying your key stakeholder audiences, which will almost always be headed by employees.  Prepare messaging targeted to each key audience including employees, partners, vendors, customers and investors.

One of the most challenging social media issues is how to monitor them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  An issue that begins to spread on social media in the middle of the night can stir up a significant negative impact hours before your organization is aware and begins to consider a response.

No comments:

Post a Comment