Perspectives

Managing the 'unmanageable'

Social media in a crisis

A question we are asked often is “how has social media changed crisis communication?” Social media is no longer new; Twitter and Facebook have both now been around for over a decade and are firmly part of the media environment. And yet, too many communication professionals still fear the prospect of responding to a crisis in the digital era, and managing the 'unmanageable' world of social media.

In this piece we examine what lies behind this nervousness and argues that the impact of social media has been overstated. Five principles have been suggested for thinking about social media in a crisis and it is concluded that communication professionals are in a better position to manage reputations than they might think.

  • Social media isn’t always the right way to communicate in a crisis
  • Great social media engagement in ‘peace time’ can be your downfall in a crisis
  • Inform, don’t engage
  • Listen hard, ignore much
  • Protect your CEO: get them on social media

To find out more about these key principles, download the full report.

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