Crisis Communication for Our Time was the name of the session. -- I spent 90 minutes with an expert crisis consultant June 2012 at the League of American Orchestras Conference in Dallas where I was speaking on Social Media Strategy. There were about a dozen people eager to hear about solid planning ideas "just in case something happens" or worse, "when it happens".
I was encouraged to hear James Lukaskewski champion activities such as preparation, candor, openness, responsiveness, truthfulness and transparency. And most definitely, engagement.
However, I was in a The End of Business as Usual state of mind having started reading Brian Solis's new book for the 2nd time on the flight to Dallas from Nashville. (This time, I'm reading it on Kindle for iPad, I gave my hard copy away at the workshop I taught for Engage Kingsport.)
I know that it is an occupational hazard for me to immediately think, "How does a social engagement strategy affect and/or effect this". I think of that about everything. Heck, where I get my coffee, or if the ticket agent responds quickly is a place of public brand engagement.
@nashvillesymph nice :) Glad to have the a world class Symphony in town! — CREMA (@CREMACREMA) June 5, 2012
@nancyvanreece We're glad that you were able to get an earlier flight, Nancy. Thanks for flying us! — American Airlines (@AmericanAir) June 6, 2012
But wow, 90 minutes of this IRL workshop and the only time anything about social media was mentioned was a mumble from the corner. "yeah, good luck with that on Facebook at 3am."
It was interesting to me that this topic didn't come up. I was in observation mode looking to ahead to my session on Friday morning discussing "social media as a groundbreaking approach to connecting with community" ( the ground was broken a long time ago, on a cave wall, but you get it.)
Jim spoke the truth about the importance of a communications team knowing what the questions are and preparing responses in advance, or further, to get the answers out before the questions are even asked! However, their were questions in the room that fell silent. What to do with the audience of audiences? How to give up control on the immediate emotional satisfaction that comes from random splurts of angst 140 characters long?
Jim indicated that his research showed 50% of the entire audience potential "doesn't care and will only care if their friend mentions it... " However, we know now that the likelihood of their friend mentioning it. Heck, it may just take 6 shares to get to Kevin Bacon.
Shaping conversation in advance means answering questions in advance to remove volatile emotional responses to time of crisis. Stop conflict by waging peace in advance.
Do you have any tips or links about crisis communication on social platforms to share? Leave a comment below.