The 10 commandments of social media crisis management

It’s not enough simply to have a plan in place; proceeding swiftly and genuinely engaging your angry audience are essential.

This post is inspired by a conversation I had with a group of senior PR professionals in Chicago who got really nervous when I asked them, “So do you have a social media crisis-management plan in case something bad happens?”

It amazes me that we as communicators still underestimate the impact of social media on your online image, especially during a crisis. I hope these Ten Commandments of Social Media Crisis Management will provide guidance in how to respond in the era of Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

1. Thou shalt move at lightning speed: The first 24 hours after negative news hits online are crucial, and case studies show that bad news spreads like wildfire on social media—especially on Twitter. This demands a sense of urgency to react in a matter of hours and not days.

2. Thou shalt build a micro-site to provide 24/7 updates: Every company must have a micro-site ready to go live with at least basic information about the situation. This will serve as the go-to site for all relevant, timely information. We encourage clients to quickly populate a FAQ page providing essential information, including next steps for customers to follow.

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