Online Crisis Management – Be Prepared!

In this era of social media and mobile devices, news spreads faster than ever before.  The web has removed control from those who create content and a crisis can develop in seconds. 

This is why it is vital that companies have an on-line crisis management strategy in place – long before it is ever needed.

When developing an online strategy, we must understand the ethics and rules of digital media and how crisis management on-line may differ from that off-line.

According to Chris Norton online crisis management can be separated into three stages – pre-crisis, crisis response and post-crisis evaluation.  An online crisis typically creates a spike in comments, shares and engagement, the conversations around which are generally negative.  During this crisis, it is essential to monitor and track what is being said and respond immediately.

An online crisis typically creates a spike in comments, shares and engagement, the conversations around which are generally negative.  During this crisis, it is essential to monitor and track what is being said and respond immediately.

When putting together a strategy to deal with on-line crisis, the following should be included:

  • Those who will form part of the crisis management team.
  • Pre-draft templates for on-line content – these can be pre-approved by legal teams to speed up their delivery.
  • The communication channels to be used.
  • An outline of how people can and can’t behave across on-line communication channels.

Finally, a crisis management strategy should have a strong focus on internal communications.  Those associated with the party will need to know what happened, what they should do and how the crisis will affect them.

All information regarding the crisis should be shared and updated regularly with all those who communication on behalf of the company to ensure all outward communication is consistent.

It may be impossible to pre-empt every online crisis, but we can certainly make sure we’re prepared for when one does occur and that the right procedure is followed.

Contact Communications Hub now and let us help you put together an effective crisis management strategy.

Why Facebook Marketing Matters

Despite the fact that 70% of Irish businesses are now on Facebook, many still don’t take it seriously as a valuable marketing tool.  

It’s an accepted fact that newspaper readership is on the decrease, yet many businesses are still investing enormous amounts of their marketing budgets on print advertising.  It often seems more acceptable to some marketers to spend hundreds on a one-off advert in a weekly paper, then to invest that money into a long-term Facebook marketing strategy.

Why is that?

Communications Hub
(mudstershop.com)

It’s hard to say.  Some companies still view social media as a ‘kids game’.  That may have been true some years ago, but now, those kids are the very customers these companies are so desperate to reach. So whether we want to accept it or not, from here until eternity, all of those leaving college and entering the workforce will be digital natives.   A generation who live their lives through the world wide web – be it researching products, booking services or purchasing goods – it all happens online.

In Ireland Facebook is still the most popular social media platform, with 60% of the population having accounts. To put that into context – 2.4 million people use Facebook in Ireland each month. That’s a lot of potential customers.  The largest Facebook demographic is 18 – 24-year-olds, who make up 29% of the Irish audience, while women tend to be more active on the platform then men.

Although Facebook has experienced a slight decrease in users over the last year or so, it is still the most used social media platform in the world.  So despite the decrease in popularity, it’s hard to see Facebook becoming any less relevant in marketing terms over the coming few years.   In fact, in Ireland 70% of social media users follow brands and businesses online.  Talk about leading the horse to water….but of course, we all know the next line to that old saying….

So, the simple truth is – If you’re not investing time and money into marketing your business on Facebook, you’re quickly becoming irrelevant.  Call Communications Hub today and let us put together a successful social media strategy for you.  

Stay relevant online

Communications Hub
(insidestudyabroad.com)

 

The Importance of Online Monitoring

The rise in citizen journalism means that organisations need to constantly monitor what is being said about them on-line.  Public relations professionals need to be the ‘ears’ and ‘eyes’ of an organisation and seek out what is being said about the brand.  

Here at Communications Hub we use many free tools to monitor what is being said about our clients online  – Twitter advanced search, Google alerts andsocialmention.com.

And while it is possible to mostly control what appears on a company’s own social media news feeds using word filters and administrative pre-approval of comments, it is impossible to control hashtags associated with an organisation.

McDonalds learned this the hard way when in 2012 they created the hashtag #McDStories in the hope of inspiring people to share their memories and happy experiences associated with the fast food chain.  The company soon discovered that it is the public who control the meaning of hashtags, and theirs was quickly hijacked to become the hashtag for horror stories involving McDonalds.

Burger King suffered a different kind of social media crisis when in 2013 its Twitter account with 82,000 followers was hacked.  The hacker changed their logo and twitter handle to that of McDonalds and tweeted a huge number of tweets containing inappropriate contents and images.  The hack went unnoticed for hours, by which time the incident had gone viral. The company not only learned an important lesson about password security and the need for moderators, it also experienced first-hand what happens when you are not constantly listening on-line.  On the plus side, the food chain gained thousands of new followers because of the incident.

Despite often having ‘expert’ social media teams, some of the biggest and most tech-savvy organisations continue to suffer social media fails.  Last year The Guardian published an article on The top five corporate Twitter fails and it makes for some very uncomfortable reading.

The moral of the story is, it’s no longer just your P’s and Q’s you need to mind, watch your Hashtags too…make sure your company is monitoring its online profile.

What’s the story with content?

Ok I’ll admit it, I’m a little obsessed on content.  And when people hear me rattling on about it, most glaze over or politely smile while steadily reversing.  So what’s the story with content you may ask? Why is it so important?

(calysto.com)

While content has always been important when communicating through the traditional channels, like radio, television and newspapers, it was never really vital.  These ‘old media’ methods of advertising were one-way communications, they were broadcasts and press releases.  People listened to them because they pretty much hadn’t a choice.  These were the days before the World Wide Web, when the channels through which people got their news and entertainment were limited.  They were the days before sky plus and podcasts.  The days before we could pick and choose what information was relevant or interesting to us, and fast forward through the boring ads. Continue reading “What’s the story with content?”