Crisis Communication in a Viral World

Crisis communications is a critical component of any PR program. But social and mobile have changed how that piece operates. Offline crises spread online and vice versa. The digital divide does not exist.

A press conference or release alone doesn’t suffice in today’s always connected, on-the-go world where 30 percent of company crises spread internationally within an hour. PR practitioners have to be not only where a crisis is happening, but also where their audiences are. And that means being present off and online. Click to Tweet!

Digital and social are playing an ever-larger role in that presence. The two can instigate and amplify a crisis in a matter of seconds. They can extinguish it just as quickly.

Continuity Insight’s annual study, “Crisis Communications 2014: Social Media & Notification Systems,” offers insight:

  • Over half of surveyed respondents (52 percent) say the benefits of social media as a crisis communication toolset outweigh the risks.
  • Nearly 62 percent of respondents plan to use social media to gather information during a crisis, up from 52 percent in 2012.
  • Over half (58 percent) rate mobile technologies as absolutely vital in carrying out crisis communication plans, up 5 percentage points since 2013.
  • Forty percent of organizations have a specific strategy for social during a disaster; 60 percent have no such plan.

But the 60 percent isn’t your story. Increase effectiveness with crisis communication by building and implementing a plan. Integrate social and mobile into it. You’ll soon be shaping the narrative while building brand and engaging stakeholders.

Crisis Communication Plans Are for Everyone

Crises happen to every brand, be it B2B, B2C or nonprofit. There are no exceptions. They can take place anytime, anywhere, online or off.

What is a crisis communication plan and why is it needed?

According to Justin Saia, manager of corporate communications at Nissan North America:

“The crisis communications plan is designed to help the company protect the safety and well-being of employees, customers and other stakeholders, as well as the reputation of the company and its brands. The plan establishes a framework for responsive and accurate communication with stakeholders, including employees, communities, media, vendors, suppliers, investors and analysts. It’s intended to complement a broader crisis management plan.”[1]

Exerpt From; Cision

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