Posted by: B. Scott Anderson | November 18, 2013

Crisis communication and influencers

Crisis communication is something that the vast majority of organizations will have to contend with at one point or another. How to manage that — particularly through social media circles — can make the difference in the present and in the future for that organization.

If it’s done poorly and not thought out well, it can be disastrous. In the case of Jeff Soto (Wood, 2013), you can lose your job and the company will have to issue a formal apology.  

If it’s done well, thanks to being prepared with a strategy to interact with the audience, you have achieved a significant step in staying actively engaged and serving as a trusted voice for stakeholders.

As a former member of the media, I routinely saw misinformation during a crisis that was spread online via social media. As an organization, how should that be combatted, especially if those who are spreading that misinformation aren’t finding or following your organization? Is there a cutoff time following the crisis when organizations stop trying to battle that misinformation? How much validity do you take into account if someone is spreading misinformation even though they might not have a significant number of followers or fans?

I also thought about the role the media plays in a crisis when it comes to social media. I looked at the verified @FBIPortland Twitter page and it has a little more than 3,100 followers. Do they aim to target more media organizations or actual people during a crisis? 

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