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Home » Engagement, Infographic, Training

Infographic: Social media crisis communications decision tree

Submitted by on October 27, 2011 – 7:55 am4 Comments

Major companies and organizations are investing in social media monitoring to protect their brand’s reputation. After all, nobody wants a customer gripe to go unnoticed and turn into a viral PR nightmare. It’s sound planning, a smart investment. But social media monitoring software is no panacea. Reputation monitoring, or e-reputation if you will, very much requires the human touch.

Here is a decision tree developed by SMI to help you and your team think through and respond (or not!) to potentially reputation-damaging posts made by the public. We adapted this decision tree from the U.S. Air Force’s brilliant web posting response assessment protocol developed for its communications staff on how to prioritize and respond to potentially damaging online posts.

Learn from the digital pioneers, brands like Coca-Cola, Carnival Cruises, Whole Foods, Vodafone and scores of others. Their social media blunders – in the areas of crap customer service, plain dumb marketing or simply being caught short in a crisis – provide valuable lessons from which to shape future corporate comms policy. It all can be found in our new e-book, #FAIL: The 50 Greatest Social Media Screw-Ups and How to Avoid Being the Next One. Buy the book today on Amazon UK, Amazon or on Lulu where you can find it in paperback.

Our version below takes it a step further, adapting the protocol for the age of the Twitter tempest, the Facebook furor and the blog storm. I’m resisting (and failing) the urge to say our version is a bit more “Top Gun” than what the Air Force put together. Well, at least it will help you and your team navigate the danger zone of crisis communications in the social media age. (Note: click image below to enlarge.)

To download a PDF of the infographic click: Social Media Crisis Comms Decision Tree. And, is your crisis communications plan updated for the Twitter era? Download our free Social Media Crisis Response Plan, the second infographic in this series.

Editor’s Note: we’re pleased to be bringing back our popular instructional workshop: Social Media Crisis Communications next month, to be held in London on February 29. Again, we will be teaming with Neil Chapman, former comms chief at BP. He has some amazing stories and lessons to share from his experience with the Deepwater Horizon spill. It will be an interesting day dedicated to reputation management and crisis communications. Come join us!


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