How should you respond online to a tragic event?

With social media’s 24/7 news cycle, it can be hard for PR and marketing pros to post appropriate sentiments after disaster strikes. Follow these tips to avoid trouble.

Ragan Insider Content

Many of us use social media to promote our businesses and our personal brands. What to do, though, when our world faces a crisis—as has occurred all too often in recent months?

Orlando, Nice, Dallas are just a few tragic events that recently rocked our world. In these grave situations, what’s the correct social media etiquette? Do we post? If so, what do we post? Or is it better not to post at all in the wake of a tragic event?

You may remember when social media guru Guy Kawasaki took some heat after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 for not shutting down his automated posts. People felt it showed his insensitivity, with many lambasting him (which, by the way, didn’t sit well with Kawasaki).

Unfortunately, it happens in every such occurrence. We see organizations and individuals being criticized for allowing their regularly scheduled posts to appear as usual. Some outsiders even scold those who don’t pause their posts. Perhaps many make mistakes because they truly don’t know how to manage social media during these events.

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