‘Worst case scenario’ is one of my favourite games to hypothetically play with clients. Ask yourself this; ‘How would you manage in a worst-case scenario situation?’ Maybe a client or customer complains publicly about your service, or a negative article is written in the press about your business. Do you have the right processes and procedures in place to manage the situation, especially if it went public on social media? This is where having a social media crisis plan in place will help you sleep easier at night, especially when it is joined up to overall business crisis and continuity plans.
Depending on the business you operate the worst-case scenarios could be vastly different, a restaurant might have a one-off issue with food poisoning, a manufacturing business a problem with faulty goods. Regardless of the actual event there are ways to mange the situation to prevent a small negative piece of feedback exploding into a full-blown public relations or social medial crisis. Every business should have a plan to guide them in the event of a worst-case scenario moment. Below are some tips about how to help avoid a crisis in the first place and what to do in the event of something escalating.
10 tips for crisis management
- How will you know when there is an issue? Make sure someone in the business is regularly checking for negative feedback.
- Have a clear process in place – when an issue emerges who deals with it? If you have a crisis process in place now does it cover social media?
- Know who needs to be involved and who makes key decisions – when you are in the midst of a crisis this is not the time to be working out who should be doing what.
- Anyone involved in crisis management should be aware of that fact and understand their role.
- Who can be called out of hours – have a rota in place for key stakeholders which includes phone numbers and make sure those on it are aware of the fact.
- Plan for the worst – brainstorm all the events that you can think of that might cause negative news about your business.
- Involve any customer service teams as they are the ones that deal with customer feedback and know what the common issues are likely to be.
- Have FAQ’s ready – once you have identified your common questions prep answers to manage them.
- Training everyone who needs to be involved – a dry run in a safe environment is a great way to test processes.
- Don’t just hope for the best – having a plan might feel like an extravagance but in the heat of the moment you will be grateful of the time spent prepping!
We can help you plan for your crisis moments, to discuss options please contact me at Rachel.Kerr@rksocialcomms.co.uk or Blackmores