Digital news outlets, in particular: blogs, social networking sites and forums are a potential source of negative conversations that could, if triggered or not addressed, become a major reputation issue or perhaps even a crisis for your brand. In order to prevent this from happening you should establish a comprehensive digital reputation management and crisis prevention plan. This plan can help ensure as much protection and warning to potential damaging developments.
The primary goals of the plan are to: - Establish a crisis action plan that can be implemented quickly and that addresses both potential negative issues, as well as supports positive conversations - Leverage your influencers, both paid spokespeople, community manager(s) and trusted media advocates - Establish a fully trained cross-functional Reputation Management Team inside of your organization Secondary goals: - Become a trusted voice in the digital landscape - Compliment and enhance any social engagement programs already in place
When a crisis/issue arises, follow these seven guiding principles. 1. Communicate quickly and accurately 2. Be transparent and consistent 3. Create a dialogue 4. Deploy SEM (Search Engine Marketing) techniques 5. Address detractors 6. Amplify/Activate advocates 7. Leverage your editorial assets (friends, 3rd party partners, endorsements, digital media partners, etc.)
The crisis framework should incorporate these pillars:
Listen - Establish weekly social media monitoring that specifically focus on potential issue topics - If an issue arises, expand reports to appropriate time intervals with response recommendations to take action against
Anticipate - Know where your promoters and detractors live online - Consider campaigns focused on potential issues during non-crisis times to develop relationships that could be revisited if needed - If an issue arises, engage influencers in rapid response efforts as needed, make sure to customize and humanize your responses as much as possible.
Develop - Create a response plan that addresses who, when and how to respond to each potential area and make sure that your site can handle live two way communication (no email forms) and the team is trained on how to communicate authentically in the digital space. Engage - Activate the response plan, consider a personal message from a company spokesperson that is genuine and not overly scripted. - If you have already established your relationships with advocates on Twitter, Facebook and blogs than you should have people that you can help get your point of view out. - This is the key to getting your brands voice heard. Advertise - Utilize search, online and traditional advertising to expand your point of view and create calm