Crisis management in the face of social media requires a masterful and agile skillset. Today’s crises (and their responses) play out in real-time, as do breaking news and opinion about the situation at hand. Add to that the viral nature of social networks and the ability for a story to get around the world in mere minutes, and you’ve got a virtual powder keg of bad publicity threatening to explode in the hands of the organization at the center of the crisis. Gone are the days when you can bury a story or get by with a simple “no comment.” How your company reacts (or doesn’t) to a bad situation can sometimes make or break its future.
Companies today must respond to PR crises quickly, with authenticity and aplomb, and if you’re charged with managing corporate and brand reputation, you need to do several things well: You need to keep up with the conversations that are happening in social media not only so you know what’s being said, but so that you can take action and do something about it; you need to look, listen, and learn from the social web; and you need to ensure the facts and company’s values are truthfully represented. To highlight some best practices, we’ve put together a list of ten organizations or brands that successfully weathered crises strategically using social media tools and a social media mindset. Take a look at the entire presentation via the SlideShare deck below.
Our top 10 picks for a social media comeback award include: Papa John’s Pizza, Mattel, Jack in the Box, JetBlue Airlines, The Gap, Tropicana, Toyota, Taco Bell, Air New Zealand and Martha Stewart.
Responsiveness, openness, authenticity and adaptability are traits illustrated in each of these examples, as is a willingness to (sometimes) let the community take ownership of the brand to help shape its future. These are new times and new times require new reputation management methods. It’s often said that those who succeed do so because they see opportunities where others see only challenges. They choose to embrace obstacles and uncertainty instead of remaining crippled by the fear of facing difficult situations head-on. Let these stories serve as examples for the next time a crisis arises.
This post is part of “The Pulse ,” a weekly feature that explores trending topics, rankings and industry “bests” across a wide spectrum of communication disciplines. We’ll post a new “Pulse” each week through 2011 here at Channel M. Next week we’ll feature “”Top 10 Picks for the Coolest Agency Reception Area”. Be sure to read other entries in the series, including:
- “Engaged to Win: 10 Social Media-Enabled Agencies ”
- “Women on Top: 10 Socially Stellar PR Agencies Owned by Women ”
Learn more about how to communicate effectively with both social media and traditional audiences in our eBook, “Mastering Audience Engagement: Reinventing Your Role in a New Media World .”