"Failure to anticipate and prevent a potential crisis, is a widespread crisis of its own"
Effectively strategising to prevent or at least minimise the negative impact of a crisis could lead to two very different outcomes. Fire-fighting without a plan of action and rushing into significant operational decisions can leave your company extremely vulnerable. Find out how digital tools could be your saviour when handing a crisis.
Crisis communication has changed considerably since the arrival of the digital world and now we face more challenges than ever, as the online world continues to advance. What might start out as a local issue can spread like wildfire, turning into a company wide, global crisis within hours. Companies are now expected to respond at the speed of light and knowing the right thing to say and when, this can hold a huge significance when trying to minimise brand reputation damage.
“69% of crises spread internationally within 24 hours and on average reach 11 countries” and “28% of crises spread internationally within 1 hour” - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Study
Establish a Digital Crisis Strategy
All crisis communication strategies should be revised on a regular basis. By making sure that you have digital channel experts in place as part of your crisis management team, your company is already in a good position to defuse any potential damaging situations.
Social media has changed the speed at which organisations must respond. It has provided the public with a very easy way to vent their anger which can then escalate at a significant speed. That being said, this same tool can also allow your company to quickly manage responses to handle a negative situation effectively, this is why a having a digital channel strategy ready to follow is so vital.
Use Digital to your advantage
Digital tools like marketing automation, social media monitoring, real-time reporting and web forms, to name a few, provide quick communication and gain immediate stakeholder perception and feedback, priceless in the face of a crisis. In addition to this, they enable you to convey your message to your customers and show that you are present and fully engaged with them;
“In the past, companies like The Gap have been accused of not responding to customers’ when raising concerns about faulty merchandise or refund issues – simply because they were not set up to handle customer service problems through their social media channels. This had the potential to escalate into an online crisis of its own, leaving long-term representational damage” - Forbes Online
By utilising systems already available to you and managing responses in a crisis management CRM, you can provide key stakeholders vital insight for emergency crisis strategising, reporting and analysis. Using such digital tools can also eliminate the need for a great amount of human intervention, therefore saving costs and making room for a more streamlined and efficient process.