10 steps for managing an online crisis

When the spit hits the fan, speed and contrition are crucial, but don’t forget about location, location, location.

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Its PR firm hired actors to pretend they were traveling the country in an RV, visiting Wal-Mart locations as they drove, and blogging about their experience.

This was before anyone really realized how the social Web works, and many organizations were taking some risk to figure it out.

But in 2013? In 2013, there are many experts out there in the world who know what happens when you give a customer, an employee, or a journalist or a blogger a megaphone.

And yet…

Companies stepping in it

Wal-Mart was once again embroiled in a scandal—this time it involved bribing Mexican authorities to receive permits and to do business in the country. And then again when its PR firm (a different one from 2006) posed as journalists at a news conference to try to persuade union workers to allow them to open a store in Chinatown in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, it’s not just Wal-Mart that deals with online crisis and scandals that put them on the front page of The New York Times and every mainstream blog.

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