A PR “shitstorm” is a brand’s worst nightmare, but they happen to even the best and most reputable businesses. How a brand handles the storm makes all the difference in the world. Being prepared and knowing how to handle a “shitstorm” will ensure that you come out smelling like roses on the other side.
As more and more brands increasing their presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites, crises are not only bound to happen, but they’re pretty much expected to. In fact, they are happening so often that the term “shitstorm” is now being used to describe these crises, and it’s a term that is used quite often in the PR world. Why? Because when a crisis strikes on social media, it can spread like wildfire and turn into a brutal assault.
The term “shitstorm” might sound harsh, but that’s because social media crises are, in fact, harsh. However, when a storm like this strikes, preparing for it and knowing how to handle it will ensure that you are able to manage it.
Here’s a look at how to get through a PR shitstorm so that you come out on the other side smelling like roses.
In this day and age, it isn’t a matter of if a crisis is going to strike; it’s a matter of when. Though social media offers a lot of positive for business owners, there are also some negatives. The biggest disadvantage of promoting a brand on social media is should something go awry, the world will know in no time, and often before you do! For example, if a customer is unhappy with a product that they received or believes that the service a company offered was less than stellar, they can easily make their complaint known on social media, and that complaint can be shared over and over and over again. What does that mean for your business? – Well, let’s just say that the results are less than optimal.
But, the effects of a crisis don’t have to be so disastrous. If you’re prepared in advance, it will be a whole lot easier to navigate through the shitstorm. How do you prepare for a crisis ahead of time? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
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Whether you see a crisis is about to unfold, or it has already reared its ugly head, acting quickly is essential. If you don’t react, the damage is going to be way worse and has the potential to destroy what you have worked so hard to build.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you are in the midst of a shitstorm:
Once you have successfully averted the crisis, restart the process. Don’t think that just because you have managed to get through one crisis and come out on the other side that you are automatically prepared for the next one that comes your way.
Remain diligent with your monitoring efforts. Stay active and aware of all of your social media channels. Make sure that you know what is going on at all times. Pay attention to the signs that indicate a crisis is looming. Also, it’s important to constantly evolve your crisis management strategies. Was there anything you could have done differently with the last crisis? Is there something that you could do better with any future crises? Integrate anything that you have learned from your past experiences with your current and future crisis management plans.