There are lots of great tips out there for dealing with a crisis. One of the nicest, most succinct ones we’ve seen comes courtesy of Melissa Agnes and addresses the Top Ten Crisis Management Take-Aways from 2013. So, the team at Capstone decided our Christmas gift to you is the Ten Days of Crisis Management – You won’t find any maids a milking here, but you will find Kate’s deeper dives on Melissa’s list. To read Melissa’s original list, click here.
# 9. “Telling yourself that an online issue or crisis will die down on its own, is like telling yourself that Facebook will magically delete all negative comments posted to your timeline, before anybody has the chance to see them – it just doesn’t happen.” – Melissa Agnes
The Internet’s not gonna be ignored, Dan. Like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction, the Internet will boil your pet rabbit so fast you won’t know it’s missing if you don’t respond.
The good news is the Internet isn’t necessarily as demanding as Alex Forrest. It just wants to be heard, acknowledged, and responded to in a timely and appropriate fashion.
There is a wonderfully fine line here between addressing the issue and lighting it on fire. You absolutely cannot ignore an online crisis.
Time is of the essence in responding – even if it’s to acknowledge the crisis, and to say you’re looking into the situation and will have more information soon. Just be sure that you actually do.
So what happens when your timeline has exploded with negative comments? For starters, take the high road. Acknowledge people are upset and respond as appropriate. If needed, take the conversation to a direct message function to sort out specifics.
Finally, think twice before deleting other people’s posts. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but in most cases it will only infuriate people more. The regular content you post on a daily basis will soon move those negative posts out of the way. Consider a policy that states that foul language, or otherwise offensive language can be removed.
Remember, like all things, your issue or crisis will pass. It just won’t pass on it’s own.
Kate Venne is the Director of Public Relations at Capstone National Partners.
The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.