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Crisis and issues management in the digital age


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Crisis and issues management in the digital age

  1. 1. Crisis and Issues Management in the Digital AgeJames Hacking Rachel CatanachVice President SVP & Senior Partner, Managing DirectorBlueCurrent Group Fleishman Hillard
  3. 3. What is a Crisis?•  Any problem or disruption that triggers negative responses and greater scrutiny.•  Anything that disturbs the natural flow of business and – if recognized too late and addressed improperly – can jeopardize an organization’s very existence.
  4. 4. Crisis Myths The Court ofYou can’t You can You lose Law is morepredict or control a crisis control by important than engaging withprevent a by withholding the Court of social media crisis information Public Opinion
  5. 5. Crisis Truths The primary The longer a A serious focus in crisisMost crises crisis goes on, problem All crises can management can be the more becomes a be mitigated should be the predicted damage it crisis once it’s court of public does publicized opinion
  6. 6. The Internet is a Crisis “Game-Changer”One person can “light Crises play on a Pace of events the fire” global stage accelerates 6
  7. 7. Yet the Internet Remains Poorly Understood, Under-Utilized in a Crisis Another  channel… A  burden,  a   similar  to  print  media,   “necessary  evil”   television,  etc.   A  “bolt-­‐on”  tool,   added  to  a  tradi;onal   communica;ons   strategy   7
  8. 8. Scenario•  You are the Communications Manager for MumCom
  9. 9. 9.00 AM Wednesday•  Michael is a 15 year old diabetes patient. He has a doctor’s appointment today
  10. 10. 10 AM Wednesday•  Michael gets to the doctor and it is decided he should get a brand new blood glucose monitor. It is a MumCom monitor.
  11. 11. 10:15 AM Wednesday•  Michael gets home. Mum leaves. He unwraps the packaging. He notices something that’s not right.
  12. 12. 10:30 AM Wednesday•  Michael text messages Mum. He says “OMG, u won’t BLEVE – Earwig in my new glucose meter.”•  He sends along a picture…
  13. 13. 10:45 AM Wednesday•  Mum is appalled… After a quick call to the doctor’s office, she takes time to update her Facebook status… she posts the picture on Facebook… “OMG, my son just unwrapped his new glucose monitor and there was a dead earwig in it. Can u believe that?”
  14. 14. 10:45 AM Wednesday•  Doc, a prominent doctor, specializes in pediatric diabetes & is a member of the online physician community•  Doc goes to his computer and poses the question – Has anyone ever found an earwig in a MumCom glucose monitor, cos I did…
  15. 15. 11:00 AM Wednesday•  Several of Mum’s 217 friends comment…•  One friend asks who made the meter?•  Mum replies “MumCom!”
  16. 16. 11:10 AM Wednesday•  Diabetic friend of Mum’s sees this and posts on her Twitter account•  She links it to Mum’s Facebook page so everyone can see the picture.•  PLS RT - @MICHEALSDMUM’s kid opened MumCom glucose meter with earwig in it
  17. 17. 11:15 AM Wednesday•– a prominent blogger and tweeter who follows MumMichael’s diabetic friend on Twitter sees the tweet and re-tweets it… he has a LOT of followers
  18. 18. 11:30 AM Wednesday
  19. 19. 12:00 PM Wednesday
  20. 20. How did this happen? Investor   Investors   Message   Boards   General   Public   Investors   General   Public   Investors   General   Friends   Friends   Public   Investors   Media   Friends   General   Public   Friends   Advocacy   Blogger   General   Groups   Public   Friends   General   Mum   Blogger   Public   Blogger   More   General   Tweets   Public  Michael   Facebook   One   Blogger   Blogger   Member Twi1er   ship   Membership   Other   docs   Professional   Doc   Socie4es   Member ship   Other   Doctors.n docs   Member ship   Docs   Begin   Other   docs   Consumer   Twee4ng   Other   Groups   Membership   docs  
  21. 21. Consumers in Control 21
  22. 22. Social Media can make audiences… " Experts Spectators Broadcasters Reviewers Publishers Syndicators
  23. 23. So what can we do to stay ahead of the curve?
  24. 24. Five Crisis Principles Forget aboutPlanning, process Denial is not a buying anand practice wins river in Egypt extinguisher after the day the fire starts If you don’t supply Use online as a the information - crisis tool – now – the media website, search will look elsewhere
  25. 25. What are the realities for communicators? Sometimes C-Suite who difficult to see doesn’t Not enough the wood forMore pressure understand the resource, the trees - not – on 24/7 new demands budget all bad of the digital comments age online are equal
  26. 26. "II. Listen to your audience.
  27. 27. " Why spend millions building your brand if you won’t spend a fewthousand dollars on monitoring its reputation?"
  28. 28. Getting started 1.  Assess vulnerabilities! 2. "Cover off all audiences! 3. "Create a team! 4. "Develop a process map! 5. "Pick your monitoring solution ! 6. "Use all your channels!
  29. 29. Assess Vulnerabilities 29
  30. 30. Cover of all Audiences Distributers Industry General Analysts Public Media NGOs Audience Customers Employees Financial Vendors Institutions 30
  31. 31. Create a Team Human Resources Marketing and Legal Communications Team Customer Finance Service Operations 31
  32. 32. Develop a Process Map 32
  33. 33. Pick Your Monitoring Solution Sentiment Positive! Negative! Total! Month on analysis! month change! Forum 30! 45! 75! comments! Blog ! 21! 32! 53! comments! Product 11! 15! 36!review sites! Total for 62! 92! 154! the month! 33
  34. 34. Asian Vs US Centric Language matters! Asia Centric 5,000 conversations US Centric 60 Conversations
  35. 35. Human Vs MachineAutomated sentiment scoring can be very inaccurate. !You can’t always replace a person! Posi;ve   Nega;ve   Nega;ve   Posi;ve   Nega;ve   Posi;ve   Nega;ve  
  36. 36. What Can You Digest? Ideal  issues   monitoring   report   size  
  37. 37. What Can You Digest?
  38. 38. Use all your Channels Visuals Youtube B-roll Website/darksite/microsite Search / paid ads Infographics Traditional media relations Third parties Be Transparent and Ask Questions
  39. 39. Readiness Checklist. 1. Do you have an accurate sentiment analysis tool? (machine/ human?) ! 2. Do you have a plan for organizational education?! 3. Is there a process map for issue escalation?! 4. Do you have the roles and responsibilities in place for issues management?! 5. Who is part of your issues/ crisis response team?! 6. Have you run an issue or crisis fire-drill in the last 3 months?!
  40. 40. "III. The ‘Golden’ Hour
  41. 41. The The ‘Golden’ Hour Crisis “Golden” Hour•  Ensure all appropriate functions are informed and present in the crisis planning – Legal, HR, operations, communications – based on the nature of the crisis•  Find out the facts of the situation as they are known – use the 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How) to guide the discussion•  Work out your current position and initial response•  Begin/ramp up monitoring (traditional and social media)•  Determine what is the intended result: –  Six months from now, when this crisis is in the rear-view mirror, what do you want investors, customers, employees and stakeholders to say about the company? How does your values statement/credo/mission statement inform this answer?
  42. 42. The The ‘Golden’ Hour Crisis “Golden” Hour•  Reach agreement on an initial action plan: –  Identify all relevant audiences, external and internal –  Identify external allies and champions as well as opponents or enemies –  Identify the best conduits for reaching each audience –  Determine who will be the “face” speaking to those audiences –  Determine how and when interactions with internal and external audiences will occur –  Consider appropriateness of BAU marketing activities and Senior Executive appearances –  Determine the materials necessary to support the communication: FAQs, fact sheet and holding statement at a minimum. Think PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned)
  43. 43. The Crisis “Golden” Hour The ‘Golden’ Hour•  Have a frank discussion about the hurdles or roadblocks to implementing the plan and the best way to overcome them•  Determine what channels, discussions need to be monitored and how to respond to what monitoring finds•  Create a system for interaction and for rapid approval of plans and materials (a war room) – responses within an hour•  Determine how best to measure progress and ultimately success
  44. 44. The Crisis “Golden” Hour The ‘Golden’ Hour•  When it comes to social media think about the following: –  Set up notification systems: create a portal or set up a crisis webpage to deliver immediate, authorized news from the official source –  Identify spokespersons: Designate social media specialists to represent the company and respond to specific social media channels –  Keep your messages simple: No matter how complex the situation, reduce the message to about four points and address it in few words so it can be carried across platforms
  45. 45. The Crisis “Golden” Hour The ‘Golden’ Hour–  Have a flexible editorial calendar and think about delivery: Schedule all social communications in advance and deliver messages with a sincere tone appropriate for the channel–  Keep social media channels open: never delete comments or shut down pages as that can exacerbate the situation–  Keep updating ‘normal’ posts on social media platforms to show external audiences that business is as usual–  Engage an agency: The issue may be bigger than your own available experience or resources
  46. 46. "IV. Case studies.
  47. 47. Kryptonite A regular pen + a viral video + 10 days = USD $10 million product recall real cost ignoring social media
  48. 48. Kryptonite Blogs and Search Engine results continue to damage the reputation long after the crisis is resolved!
  49. 49. Toyota in Crisis
  50. 50. Toyota crisis – taking the official line Paid Search ads Paid Search ads based on bid based on bid price price Organic SEO listings Toyota Recall “Toyota Takes Care of its Customers. Read the FAQs at”
  51. 51. Toyota crisis – competitor strategies in Search•  Competitors respond with generic ads Paid Search ads May the Best car Win “On New GMC Models, Assurance Comes Standard. Get Details Here.” May the Best car Win “See How Buick Stacks Up to the Competition. May the Best Car Win.”
  52. 52. Toyota crisis – competitor strategies in Search•  Competitors respond where it hurts, emphasizing reliability of their brands vs. Toyota Paid Search ads Consider a New Mazda “Check out the reliable vehicles from Mazda and find a great deal.” Ford Vehicles “Drive Safe and Reliable Ford Cars. Browse Large Inventories Today.”
  53. 53. Toyota crisis – other strategies in Search•  Lawyers inflame the situation Paid Search ads Toyota Recall 2010 Update “Sudden acceleration danger. Free case review for injured.” Toyota Accident Victims “Toyota Sudden Acceleration Recall. Free Evaluation, 1-866-***-****”
  54. 54. Interesting•  Toyota did not rely much on PPC ads to its strong dealership network•  Toyota covered main keywords but missed the long tail searches like “Toyota sucks”, “Toyota gas pedal”, “Toyota investigation”
  55. 55. BP High impact visuals fuel online sentiment!
  56. 56. SAN LU 12  September  2008       Source:  hGp://  
  57. 57. Conclusion. 1.  Ignore digital channels, learn the hard way! 2. "Keep your finger on the pulse! 3. "Have a plan in place! 4. "React fast!
  58. 58. Questions?