Panel 5 – Digital PR Summit – Smart Digital Tactics During a Crisis

Here we go again.  Rapid fire today.

Panelist – John Bell (360 Digital Influence, Ogilvy)

5 trends in Digital Crisis Mgt:  1) Everything happens at lightning speed, 2) People demand hyper-transparency, 3) Dialogue is as important as message delivery, 4) Search reputation delivers multimedia, 5) Brand detractors have the same tools

Understanding what to do in the first 24 hours is critical.  Don’t have to respond/react quickly all the time.

2-way dialogue is essential.  You have to be ready to answer for everything.

Panelist – Dallas Lawrence (Burson-Marsteller) – this dude is no joke.  Seems like a real smart guy, straight-shooter, fast talker.

How you sell this crisis planning in the online space?  We are great storytellers for our clients, but horrible about telling our own stories.

3 key online threats today: 1) accidental 2) deliberate but uncoordinated 3) organized campaigns

You have to be prepared to tackle any of these threats.  Do you have a social presence?  A voice?

Good, interesting stats – 75% receive news, 50% actively gather news, 37% create news.

If marketing is running social media, do they know how to handle crisis?  There must be integration with corporate communications.  If not, it’s fatal.

6 out of 10 members of the House of Representatives are on Twitter and more Republicans on Twitter than Democrats.

Panelist – Gary Spangler (DuPont)

Going to talk about “issues” management, not particularly “crisis” management.  Search is a huge component.  Paid search specifically.  Buy keywords, send them to your content.  Yes.

If you deliver your voice in a valid, transparent, caring way, consumers are willing to hear your point of view.

If brand has negative attack and all the brand does is set the record straight on the negative issue, the issue is still going to remain.  The brands have to turn it into a positive.  Need to leverage relationships/earned media at this point.  When writing a press release, make it a social media press release.  Create that same piece of content in a way that it can be blogged, tweeted, etc… Don’t have to use them, but you have them.

Between issues, you need to be developing relationships with influencers.  Build trust.  This is such a vital component to managing any issue/crisis.

Panelist – Sarah Tyre (Ketchum)

Again, it’s important to have a presence.  Also, as much as you can, set ground rules/expectations.  So, if someone has a complaint w/ their vehicle (let’s say), here’s the person/channel to contact.  Secondly, you’ve got to listen and respond.  Respond quickly, openly, honestly.

If someone asks, “what should my digital crisis management plan be,” your first question back should be – “Do you have a regular crisis management plan?”  The approaches can’t be independent of one another.

Three steps – Diagnose (goals, set focus), Manage (strategize, determine best voice, engage), Redefine (measure, optimize)

Need to train company/organization on crisis response.

Don’t look at social media space in a vacuum.

Questions – what are the most underutilized tools in crisis management?  John – SEO/SEM and video.  Dallas – Twitter and general council.  Gary – email and web pages.  Sarah – SEM. (All of these are basic.  Smart.  Don’t need to overthink “channels.”)

Dallas gives another nugget in the Q&A session:  Over-communicate, don’t make the problem worse.

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