How to Use Social and Digital Media to Deal with a PR Crisis

By Andrew Blum*

In today’s world of PR crises, you need to be on top of social and digital media.

Traditional media continues to be all over any crisis, but a crisis will quickly spill over into social and digital media.

  • Before a crisis hits, make sure you have added all applicable social media channels to your crisis PR plan.
  • Make sure you have a dedicated PR person work on your social media, especially in a crisis. Have a backup.
  • When you have a comment in a crisis, make sure it goes to traditional media and social and digital as well. But closely monitor social channels during a crisis as all the comments and content there may be beyond traditional media stories and warrant your attention.
  • Make sure the overall tenor of your comments and content on social and digital media is as similar as possible to what you have given traditional media.
  • Consider hiring a social/digital PR agency to help in the crisis.
  • Sometimes a crisis on social media is so heated and constant that you may have lost that PR battle before you even post something on social media. In that instance, think about whether it’s wiser not to post anything.
  • Hire a top-notch video producer able to do fast, strong video posts for the web and social media. Video and other images and graphics will help tell your story better in a crisis than just text.
  • In thinking about social and digital media strategy in a crisis, think social and think digital. That’s your audience –a different kind of animal than traditional media.
  • Review your social and digital strategy, content and output in a crisis several times daily.
  • Repeat all of the above as needed. And think if maybe you need to expand to even more social and digital channels.

Social and digital media are constantly growing and morphing and in a crisis, so should your social and digital strategy.

*Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at ablum@ajbcomms.com or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms

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