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March 12, 2010

Social Media – pushing the social boundaries?

Filed under: Industry News, Tips & Advice — Tags: , — sharon @ 3:30 pm

With the rise of companies using social media as part of their marketing strategy, have the floodgates now opened for disgruntled staff to air their gripes on sites such as Facebook and Twitter?

Once an offending comment is made online, whether true or false, allegations broadcasted on social media sites can spread quickly ending in on-line debates and ultimately result in damaging a company’s reputation.  

In order to protect and safeguard ourselves if such a situation happens, do we now need to revise our contracts of employment to ensure we have a policy in place for dealing with such a matter?

Reading an interesting article by Kate Simpson in the March edition of ‘Insider’ magazine, Peter Davies gives the following top 10 tips for ‘Reputation Management’:

  1. Don’t crawl under a stone hoping the issue will go away, or make any hasty defensive comments.
  2. Investigate quickly to establish if the story is true.  Ensure you know all the facts before responding but remember, speed is of the essence. 
  3. Make sure someone is available to speak to the press – ideally someone with seniority, because this will show that he issue is being taken seriously.  Ensure they are fully briefed and know how to deal with the media.
  4. Don’t ever try to outsmart the media with smart or facetious comments.  And, never say ‘no comment’, you’ll only make things worse.
  5. Acknowledge public concern, even if you think it is misplaced.  In a media crisis, the public are always right.
  6. Actions speak louder than words.  The public does not want statements and press releases so always respond decisively.
  7. Make sure you communicate with your key audiences – the customers and clients who will be affected by the story – on a more personal basis than through the press.
  8. Discover which areas of your business are vulnerable to negative press coverage and prepare a plan in advance.
  9. Have a crisis management plan that deals with the practical side of coping under the media spotlight.  The plan should detail who will make the decisions and who will take calls from the media.  Can you current press or publicity officer copy?  Do you need extra help?
  10. If you need help, get it.  Common sense and intuition are fine but they need to be backed up with experience from a professional. 

Source: Insider Magazine | Peter Davies

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