Your Social Media Crisis Communications Plan

What is something you know you probably need but you don’t really want it? No, its not your green vegetables or a gym membership.

Although true, there are plenty of correct answers to this question - but our title does give away what we are talking about today. Social media crisis communications plans.

Why do I need a social media crisis communications plan?

Well, my friend, it can take only 10 seconds to damage a brands reputation online. Do you really want to be that unprepared? 

It’s as simple as they say - fail to plan? Plan to fail. 

But I am just a small business - this sounds like something a corporate company would need.

True - they do. A larger corporate company does need a nod to social media in their Crisis Communications strategy. We can’t wait to introduce you to our guest blogger and how they use it later this month.

But even small, one-man bands would do well to set some time aside to think ahead. So no matter your size the answer is Yes. You need a social media crisis communications plan.

You got me. What is a Crisis Communications Plan - a bound book I keep in the drawer with my torch just in case of emergency?

Believe it or not - it is more simple than that.

A crisis communications plan covers everything from negative comments about the company’s customer service, to employee breaches, board governance decisions and company performance.

You need to have a plan in place which outlines who, how, when and why, ensuring all employees know the communications process in responding to the commentary.

What do you define as a crisis for GRM?

This is not an exhaustive list but a few definitions below:
CEO or Board defamation

Media announcement about a specific employee, which can bring reputational damage to the company

An ethics issue

Poor customer service, which snowballs thanks to audience engagement

Uneducated comments about company policies, which can have an effect on company operations

Nay sayers or trolls spinning bad yarns 

How does social media fit into this - shouldn’t we just go quiet?

There’s a time for everything but from our experience - going quiet is not usually the best option.
This doesn’t mean we think you should turn into this: “Tap, tap, tap. 🤬” #KeyboardWarriors are not our friend.

Walkaway. Breathe. Think. Come back and respond calmly. You need to listen, think, respond and learn. 

Here is a link we reference for such a time as this: Convince and Convert.

However, rather than letting our emotions run wild, its easier to respond when we have a strategy, a map, a plan in place. This brings your whole team onto the same page when it comes to the way in which your company will respond to negative comments online.

Ugh. This sounds a little overwhelming. I don’t know where to begin.

This might start to bring a sweat bead to your forehead but DON’T STRESS the GRM team’s here to help.

This month we’re going to be giving you a high level crisis management plan downloadable, some tips on how to write your own plan and share how we can help you shut down those uneducated nay sayers we fondly call trolls.

We can help you develop a Crisis Communications plan for social media. We work through the development of holding messages, a flow diagram of who and how you should respond, and outline a simple email policy around getting action from your team when a crisis is gaining momentum.

Simple. As. That.

She’s here to help turn that concerned frown upside down and those tears of social media concern to tears of social joy. 

Chelsea is the Owner of Grass Roots Media and takes on the primary role of 'Boss Lady.' Chelsea has a background in Agribusiness, Social Media, Digital & Print marketing. She has developed a passion for digital communication over the past few years and sees it playing an important role in telling the Primary Industries NZ Inc story now, and in the future. 

Chelsea completed the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme in 2015.