Online crisis management – a quick guide

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. One minute it was business as usual and the next we were social distancing, self-isolating, working from home (if we’re lucky) – basically completely rethinking the way we live.

If the Coronavirus outbreak has taught us anything it is that things can change in the blink of an eye, and while we can’t be prepared for every single scenario, there are ways to navigate these uncertain times.

As a business in the social media space the last few weeks have been a bit of a blur, but we have managed to learn a lot and help our clients through a difficult time. It’s easy to look back on a situation after the fact, but here are some of our top points that we include in social media policies with regards to online crisis management:

  1. Know where you stand. If your brand does not have any authority in the health space, don’t suddenly become the one-stop-shop for health-related facts, updates or information. The likelihood of misinformation being spread is high.

  2. Act quickly (without panic). Going about business as usual is not an option. It is important to relook all the content strategies in place (including paid for advertising) and rework it where necessary. Constant communication between teams is important.

  3. Respond appropriately. Although a quick response is required in a crisis situation, don’t fall into the trap of responding before ensuring that your response is suitable. The quality of your response should not be sacrificed in the name of speed. It’s a tricky balancing act, so be sure to consult the professionals and gain approvals before publishing.

  4. Be empathetic and mindful. The Coronavirus has affected everyone in one way or another, and people don’t want the generic/overly branded response. It is important to put this way of thinking aside and respond in a human way.

  5. Keep open communication. Let people know what your brand is doing to help ensure the health and safety of your customers and employees.

As we ride this lockdown out our team is constantly adjusting and adapting. That is key now – to be flexible as we navigate our way out of the dark.