Tag Archives: crisis plan

Who Owns Crisis Management?

I hope this is an obvious point — reputation management is just one facet of broader strategic crisis management.

Communications pros play an important part in the broader system, along with those in business continuity planning (BCP, which is a focus on minimizing business disruption), risk management (often a combination of insurance, legal, regulatory and fiduciary risk), and incident/security management (typically a focus on environmental, health, safety and security risks).

Which discipline should supersede and own this process?   Well, none.

A company’s senior leadership is ultimately responsible for a crisis – they own the system, whether they like it or not.  Sadly, far too many of these leaders adopt crisis management systems that cover only one or some of these disciplines. Continue reading Who Owns Crisis Management?

Don’t Die on the Vine

I’m far from being a technology early-adopter, but I think that Twitter’s Vine might catch on.  The service allows users to shoot only six-second audio/video clips, which are looped and can be shared through social media.  Its ease and forced brevity makes sense, since I believe people prefer a six-second update on some things, versus a longer YouTube clip.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, well then a Vine must be worth 6,000.  Marketers, media  and celebrities are already swinging on the Vine.  Agencies like Ketchum are providing guidance.  And clever members of the public are already showing how artistic the medium can be.

Will the service spread and menace like kuzdu, or become an irritant like poison oak?  Time will tell.  Either way, the service may already have implications in accelerating crisis management situations and helping manage these situations.

In the spirit of the service, here are only six quick examples: Continue reading Don’t Die on the Vine

Online Crises: Only Six Social Solutions?

There is a lot involved in the decision-making process to determine how to manage a social media threat.   But for all of the required complexity, there’s typically only six solutions to choose from:  delete it, ignore it, monitor it, redirect it, respond to it or engage deeply on it.  

For a deeper perspective on this, check out my article placed in the Fall edition of The Public Relations Strategist, the quarterly publication of PRSA. Continue reading Online Crises: Only Six Social Solutions?

Tragedy in Japan: addressing natural disasters

The situation in northeast Japan is grim and may soon get worse.

Source: CNN

At the time of this writing, the earthquake and resulting tsunami has led to early estimates between 900 and 1,800 dead. That does not include the nearly 9,500 people unaccounted for in the coastal town Minamisanriku. Japanese authorities are also presuming that two nuclear reactor meltdowns may already be underway. Broadcast media have already speculated on the possibility of another Chernobyl-like disaster.

The people of Japan will need help. If history is a guide, help will come. It will come from the U.S. and other governments. It will come from citizen donations that will funnel through charitable, religious and disaster-aid organizations. It will also come from emergency management and corporate citizen efforts of many companies that have the resources to pitch in.

I’ve written many “natural disaster” crisis communications plans for organizations. Below, I provide a brief summary of the typical contents of these plans. Perhaps this summary can help an organization that wants to pitch in – but may not know how to start organizing.

These plans are typically split into two halves: 

8 bullseye tips on social media from the U.S. Army

Earlier this month, the U.S. Army Social Media Handbook was released to the public.  It is a solid guide of practical tips for anyone engaging in digitally networked dialogue, whether for personal or professional use.

Many of the tips promote networking caution in the interest of saving lives on the battlefield (and at home) and also to save individual and troop reputation.  From a crisis management standpoint, I thought these eight tips were standouts:

1.  “All leaders must communicate social media expectations…” (p. 4)

So many organizations provide protocols that define out-of-bounds online behavior for social networking.  It’s probably equally beneficial to illustrate the expected behavior.  This approach provides the most clarity if the organization is pressed to take corrective actions.

2.  Warnings on geotagging and location-based social networking (p. 5)

These warnings may be obvious to protect troop locations.  Perhaps it is less obvious to consider how this seemingly innocent location-disclosure can harm personal privacy or sensitive corporate information.  As one example, keep in mind that hackers love to collect information – including where you’ve been and when – before they infiltrate.

3.  Online relationships – keep it professional (p. 6)

Following this very obvious guideline can keep many corporate executives out of HR trouble, or out of the courtrooms.