Crisis Monitoring : Definition and Tips for Carrying it Out Effectively
How to Optimize Your Crisis Monitoring on Social Networks?
Since 2019, the world has experienced a series of global crises, and all companies and organizations will likely encounter a crisis at some point. In addition to international crises, companies may face technical, environmental, social, political, reputational, or image issues. Thus, implementing a crisis management process and monitoring social networks and the web is crucial for brands.
The success of your brand's crisis management and the effectiveness of your crisis monitoring largely depend on preparation in both online and offline settings. This preparation must consider the possibility of a severe crisis that could significantly impact the organization's turnover, image, or even its survival and potentially trigger investigations by legal or regulatory stakeholders. We are referring to a crisis that goes beyond the occasional "bad buzz," which may harm a company's image and customer relationships but typically has less profound effects on the organization's overall operations and revenue.
Here are some recommendations that you will also find in our infographic, which can help you optimize your crisis monitoring on social networks.
II. The Usefulness of Crisis Monitoring
III. How to do a Crisis Monitoring?
1. What sources for crisis monitoring?
2. What are the tools for doing crisis monitoring?
3. Which analysis method and KPIs to use for crisis monitoring?
IV. How to Avoid a Crisis: Possible Solutions and Good Practices
1. Before the crisis on social networks and the web
2. During the crisis on social networks and the web
3. After the crisis on social networks
V. The Watchman: Dedicated to Crisis Monitoring
I. The Definition of Crisis Monitoring
Crisis monitoring is essential to crisis management and communication. It encompasses a series of activities that aim to identify, monitor, analyze, and anticipate unusual or abnormal events that may pose a risk to the survival, continuity, and proper functioning of a company, organization, or public or private collective system. Crisis monitoring allows for a more rapid and effective response in the event of a proven or potential crisis by mobilizing the necessary players and resources, which ideally should be defined in advance as part of a crisis plan. This preparation relies on various tools and sources of information, such as media monitoring, social media listening, strategic monitoring, risk management models, and networks of internal and external experts. It is a continuous process that involves iterations and improvements.
II. The Usefulness of Crisis Monitoring
Crisis monitoring is a valuable tool for organizations and companies for several reasons.
Firstly, it helps to anticipate potential crises or bad buzz on social networks or in the media that could harm the organization's reputation, functioning, or even the sector's economy. This can be achieved through competitive intelligence, risk intelligence, monitoring potential stakeholders such as media, suppliers, customers, and regulatory bodies, and analyzing potential crisis scenarios for the organization.
Secondly, it enables the detection of weak or strong signals that constitute potential threats to the organization through continuous monitoring of specific information sources, media, and social networks.
Thirdly, feedback from the field and a network of experts can be collected, capitalized, and shared to improve response speed, capacity, and quality by defining the necessary resources, tools, and processes.
Finally, post-crisis monitoring can be conducted to determine corrective actions and identify lessons learned from the crisis or bad buzz.
III. How to Do a Crisis Monitoring?
1. What Sources for Crisis Monitoring?a. Specific Sources
When it comes to crisis monitoring, selecting suitable sources is crucial. These sources should be subject to precise ad hoc monitoring, meaning they should be a specific URL or account. Examples of specific sources could include specialized media in your sector, the Twitter or TikTok account of an NGO, a journalist, an activist, or a news site.
For instance, laboratories in the pharmaceutical industry may monitor journals specializing in pharmacy and drugs that have already published articles and lists of high-risk medications. To establish a list of specific sources, it is essential to consider the culture of your sector and identify a certain number of crucial sites and resources that need to be capitalized upon.
Twitter is a compelling channel for crisis communication due to its potential for rapid amplification of information, even if the data originates from another social media or media channel such as blogs, forums, press sites, TikTok, or YouTube. The Twitter audience includes specialists, journalists, watchdogs, and activists, and the algorithmic functioning of the platform further contributes to its fast propagation. Therefore, monitoring various keywords, "at risk" accounts or information relays in your field, and hashtags is crucial. This monitoring must be scalable and responsive, as an ongoing crisis may spawn multiple hashtags and sub-themes that need to be captured and put under surveillance.
Along with Twitter, Facebook is also a popular channel for crisis communication and monitoring. It is an excellent purveyor of news and information to the general public, particularly for consumer products. If you belong to the retail sector, potential crises or bad buzz may have already started on Facebook, such as recalls or reports of food products.
Despite being one of the oldest web formats, forums can be a challenging communication channel to monitor. Unlike other channels, there is no single API, format, or RSS feed. Instead, multiple forum architectures and scripts, such as HardwareZone, FeedSpot, and SgForums, differ in their structures.
Therefore, monitoring all forums using a single tool might overstretch your data collection requirements. However, monitoring various targeted forums, especially in sectors such as health, video games, automotive, DIY, and software development, is crucial, as they can constitute up to 50 to 80% of the messages consumers post. Additionally, the Reddit "forum" is becoming increasingly influential in the USA and France since 2019.
e. Consumer Reviews
Consumer reviews are another vital source of information for crisis monitoring. These reviews can be found on various platforms, such as general consumer review sites like Google Reviews or eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Lazada, and Etsy.
There are also highly specific review sites like TripAdvisor and Glassdoor that serve user-generated information related to an industry, such as travel and recruitment respectively. These reviews can have a significant impact on public opinion. They may be shared on social media platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn, making them a critical channel to monitor for potential crises or bad buzz.
While TikTok was once known primarily for music videos, consumer hauls, and fashion package unboxings, the platform now boasts millions of short videos on a wide range of topics. These include user-generated content on science, economics, news coverage, and even activism.
The content posted on TikTok can often challenge a brand, company, political party, or economic model. With its rapidly growing audience and high virality (TikTok videos can be easily reshared on other social networks), this social media is becoming increasingly imperative to monitor for potential crises, even more so than Instagram or YouTube.
With stiff competition from TikTok, YouTube faces challenges in the short-form video category, prompting the launch of YouTube Shorts. As content creators are bound to leverage more than one social media to expand their network and increase their monetization of content, most can be found to publish their content on multiple channels. To ensure effective crisis monitoring, it is essential to monitor targeted brand channels and influential content creators on the platform.
LinkedIn has seen a substantial increase in its user base over the years. While the platform's content is mainly geared toward businesses and organizations, there has been a recent surge in critical opinions about sizeable multinational energy and food companies. To keep abreast of industry developments and stay ahead of the competition, it's essential to monitor comments on the accounts of companies, their leaders, and even their rivals in your sector and ecosystem.
Instagram is not typically the platform for coisogenic content, as it tends to feature more positive content than TikTok. The content on Instagram is generally less inclined towards critical and activist editorial acts, so it is not usually the first platform to publish such content. However so, it still does not strip away any potential risk. Brands who have identified key detractors in a community, may want to consider monitoring individual profiles, in this case, for the purpose of keeping tabs on their commentary activities.
j. Online news sites and the press
Online news sites and press outlets should be monitored according to the severity of the information they publish about your organization. Suppose the report is published on high-traffic media outlets such as The Straits Times, Mothership.sg, or AsiaOne. It may already be too late, as these are among the top 10 most-read media outlets. Other journalists often pick up their content, ensuring its virality and widespread coverage.
2. What Are the Tools for Doing Crisis Monitoring?
There are several crisis watch tools: monitoring, alerting, steering, and communication.
These monitoring tools monitor multiple sources of information and social networks to detect coisogenic messages and content.
These are :
Social listening tools designed to keep pace with the fast-moving and viral nature of social media and online discussions. These powerful competitive intelligence tools can identify weak signals, leverage information, and promote collaborative sharing among experts and field feedback to analyze media noise, i.e., the media impact of current topics.
The use of alerting tools is essential for the quick and efficient dissemination of alert messages to all relevant stakeholders involved in crisis management, such as crisis units, task forces, communicators, employees, partners, and customers. Alerting tools, such as Everbridge, Fact24, Retarus, and Gedicom, can help ensure that the right people are notified promptly in any crisis. However, it's important to note that alerting tools differ from the functions integrated into social media listening tools.
c. Management Tools
Management tools help to coordinate and facilitate the actions taken during a proven crisis based on pre-established crisis plans or possible scenarios. They can aid in managing resources, information, and communication to ensure a swift and effective response. Examples of management tools include Iremos and RSA Archer.
d. Communication Tools
These tools can segment mailing lists according to target audiences, create and distribute critical messages, and choose appropriate communication channels. Examples of such tools include Mir3, AtHoc, and Microsoft Teams. Some companies may also use more specialized crisis communication platforms like crisis hotlines, social media management tools, or incident reporting systems.
3. Which Analysis Method and KPIs to use for Crisis Monitoring?
To manage a crisis on the web and social networks, it is necessary to closely and quickly monitor weak signals and relevant sources of information. This involves determining your essential indicators, the crisis KPIs (ex: volume of messages, the weight of influencers, and media), and distributing your dashboards and/or reports to all members of the constituted crisis task force.
These indicators should help you measure the severity of the crisis on the web and social networks to avoid overreacting or, on the contrary, not reacting quickly and appropriately enough.
For example, you can monitor the number and tone of mentions of your brand or sector, track the engagement and virality rates of your own or competitor's publications, gauge the sentiment of Internet users and stakeholders (such as customers, partners, and media), and assess the influence and credibility of sources discussing your issue.
Depending on the results obtained, you can adapt your communication strategy and action plan to respond effectively to the crisis and limit its impact on your reputation and image. You will also be able to anticipate possible scenarios and potential risks by analyzing trends and opportunities on the web and social networks.
Essential Social Media KPIs for Crisis Monitoring, Detection, and Analysis
The most relevant social media indicators in crisis management: What are the crisis KPIs and significant risks to follow?
- The volume of mentions (an article, a tweet, a post, a reply in a forum)
- The volume of interactions (likes, retweets, shares, comments)
- Talker Volume (number of people talking about your topic)
- The Reach (Total number of unique individuals who read a mention)
The above indicators' evolution (increase, decrease) per day, hour, or minute. Measuring the volume of negative and positive tones associated with a subject is only helpful if it is tracked at a high frequency and according to specific criteria such as subjects, brands, and people. Combining this measurement with the net sentiment score is important, which calculates the difference between negative and positive tones. This will provide a complete picture of the sentiment associated with the subject and allow for a more accurate assessment of the crisis.
4. The Usefulness of Artificial Intelligence in Crisis Monitoring
The Artificial Intelligence capabilities of monitoring and social media listening tools can facilitate crisis monitoring across all phases. Specifically, Machine Learning and generative iA can help in the following ways:
- Collection: Machine learning can suggest keywords and expressions to monitor and actively monitor them.
- Analysis and Alerting: Machine learning can detect abnormal or unusual spikes in mentions in real-time and analyze the upward or downward progression of your brand, products, and social media publications.
- Generative iA: This technology can help you summarize the causes of unusual peaks and mentions from the data selected by the social listening algorithm.
- Classification and Qualification: AI can automatically qualify the sentiment and nature of messages, such as identifying negative feedback on product quality or very negative feedback on customer service. Automatic language processing, aided by machine learning, can label social media posts, tweets, or comments and save you the tedious work of reading hundreds of messages.
5. Which Queries and Filters to Use?
The iAs will assist you in building keywords and expressions to filter and classify the various messages and applications that may arise during a crisis. However, on what criteria should these mentions be classified?
One possible way is by theme. If the crisis persists and evolves, the initial theme will likely give rise to a tree structure of sub-themes. It will be necessary to classify these new subjects as finely as possible to assess their weight and risk of propagation relative to the original topic.
For instance, let's consider a health crisis in a food factory where a bacterium has been found. Subsequent developments, such as people being infected and seriously ill, insufficient control processes, or a factory previously questioned two years earlier, can significantly impact the crisis.
A crisis that was initially controllable and did not require a maximum level of response can become a nightmare for the organization if a new subject touches on sensitive themes, making it difficult to control because it impacts emotions. The human requests suggested by iA should allow for a satisfactory qualification of this level of emotion.
In the case of a crisis that revolves around a single theme, it's crucial to categorize mentions based on the type of issuer or channel. The nature of the transmitters, such as influencers or investigative journalists, can significantly impact the dissemination of messages. To effectively classify the mentions, you can request a categorization focusing on the issuer's source or social media account.
Another way to classify mentions during a crisis is by threshold. You can set specific keywords or phrases to trigger an alert, such as mentioning a risky ingredient in a beauty product. The alert can be activated once a keyword appears or once a pre-determined volume is exceeded within a specific time frame, such as per day or week. This allows you to identify and respond to potential crises before they escalate quickly.
IV. How to Avoid a Crisis: Possible Solutions and Best Practices
1. Before the Crisis; on Social Networks and the Web
It's crucial to integrate them into your crisis management and monitoring strategy to avoid a crisis on social media and the web. Although social media can amplify and facilitate communication channels, 65% of companies that have faced a reputation crisis believe that social media have made the situation more challenging to manage. However, at the same time, 55% believe that social media has made the recovery process easier (source: ODM Group).
a. Define the Team that Will Manage the Crisis
Defining the team that will manage a crisis is crucial for your client. The team should be multidisciplinary and include members responsible for managing the company's reputation and image daily, both online and offline. However, it is often the case that the people in charge of crisis management, such as the Risk Manager, Codir, and CEO, are not the same people who manage the brand's reputation and customer relationships on the web and social networks, such as the Social Media manager, digital marketing, communication officer, or PR.
According to a Deloitte study, a global survey on reputational risk, it is essential to include a representative of these digital functions within the crisis management task force or at the very least, establish a permanent connection between the two teams. This will ensure that the crisis management team can respond quickly and effectively to any potential threats on social media or the web while maintaining a consistent brand image and reputation across all channels.
Connecting offline and online activities during a crisis is crucial to ensure consistency between actions taken on TV or radio and those on the web and social media platforms. If a spokesperson on TV uses particular language, the same tone should be reflected in online messages.
Community Managers should act with others during a crisis. In some cases, crises have arisen on social media because the Community Manager was forced to make critical decisions, choose channels, and craft message responses without consulting higher-ups. This lack of preparation can result in an unpredictable outcome. In a crisis, the social media manager should continuously monitor the operational team responsible for messaging; the digital marketing team should be connected to the Director of Communications and the Executive Committee. Above all, they should be trained in the appropriate processes and responses for sensitive situations.
It is important to note that the individuals involved in crisis management within a company go beyond the Codir, risk managers, and finance departments. According to a more recent PR News and Crisp study, other departments such as legal, marketing, social media, and digital also play an essential role. They are often cited by professionals as being involved in crisis management.
b. Prepare the Company's Online Presence
If the organization has limited or no presence on social media, it is crucial to conduct a reputation and presence audit. This will provide valuable insights into the conversation spaces used by prospects, customers, and communities likely to express their opinions online. By understanding these spaces, the company can tailor its approach to each community and proactively monitor any potential crises.
Defining the social media platforms where the company must have a presence is important. Carefully creating or completing the client's social accounts and corporate sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blog, and Website, is crucial. Regularly updating these accounts ensures the online audience identifies them as the company's primary communication channels.
Moreover, it is advisable to prepare social accounts in the original language of the company and, at a minimum, in English for international audiences. This helps in better connecting with the local community and enables the company to cater to the needs of the global audience.
Preparing or reserving specific pages on the company's website that can be used for crisis response is important as part of crisis management. It's also crucial to ensure the website's server can handle many simultaneous visitors. For example, during the Mars bars recall, the company's corporate site was inaccessible for several hours, causing internet users and media frustration. By ensuring that the website can handle a sudden surge in traffic, the company can ensure that its crisis response information is accessible to those who need it.
Creating separate social media accounts and a website solely for crisis management may not be the ideal solution as users tend to gravitate towards established and well-referenced websites and media outlets already indexed by search engines. However, it is crucial to prepare the structure, content, and types of responses in advance for all communication spaces, including social media and the company's website, to ensure a coordinated and effective crisis management strategy.
c. Identify and Monitor all Potential Sources and Stakeholders
This is often a lengthy process, so it is crucial to start as early as possible. Contact these influencers personally to build relationships and ideally promote dialogue well before any potential crisis arises. By maintaining relationships with these upstream influencers, it may be possible to mitigate the impact of a crisis by taking positions that are not unfavorable to the client.
d. Create a map of all potential stakeholders and weigh them according to their importance in a crisis.
Identifying and monitoring all possible sources and stakeholders is crucial to prepare for a crisis. This can help to develop a strategy and response plan that addresses the concerns of key stakeholders and ensures that they are well-informed throughout the crisis. By mapping out all potential stakeholders and prioritizing them, it is possible to focus on the most critical and allocate resources accordingly.
Monitor your web and social media environment.
Carefully define your monitoring perimeter by identifying your keywords, hashtags, and stakeholders in the broad sense, including NGOs, media outlets, and internet users.
Surveil national, regional, specialized, and general media outlets. Integrate web media and organizations that track brands, buzz, crises, and press outlets that disseminate scoops and investigative surveys (e.g., MediaPart, Le Quotidien du Medecin, Cash Investigation, Greenpeace, etc.)
Consider all web channels.
It is essential to consider all web channels, including paid content, earned media, and owned media. Remember that internet users can express their opinions or react to an advertisement or message on any of the brand's social accounts.
Determine risky products, Identify potentially risky products, sensitive subjects, and individuals associated with your client, and place them in a separate, high-priority category. In certain sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, telephony, or chemicals, particular topics or products are often considered critical and require special attention.
Monitor beyond your client's brand.
It is important to monitor competitors or major players in your client's sector who may be impacted by a crisis that could affect them sooner or later. For example, the Volkswagen crisis not only affected the company itself but also had an impact on other manufacturers, leading to what is now known as DieselGate. Keeping an eye on such developments can help identify potential risks and devise effective crisis management strategies.
Monitor your client's sector.
To avoid being caught off guard by unexpected reactions to news in your client's industry, it's crucial to monitor their sector continuously. This includes monitoring regulatory changes, lobbying efforts, and any scandals or controversies that may arise.
Monitor all conversation spaces.
It's crucial to watch all the spaces where customers, prospects, and various stakeholders can express their opinions and share their thoughts. These spaces should be identified beforehand through a reputation and presence audit.
Additionally, connecting to social media platforms' APIs and Firehose can provide real-time monitoring of conversations and help identify the most influential media and influencers. This can also help you identify opportunities for your client to take a leadership position on important issues or to differentiate themselves from competitors. Regularly reviewing industry publications, attending relevant conferences or events, and networking with key players can all help you stay up-to-date on what's happening in the sector.
Doing so lets you keep track of emerging conversations and opinions and take proactive measures to mitigate potential crises before they escalate.
Manage information flows and alerts.
To prevent being caught off-guard by an emerging or escalating crisis on social media, it's crucial to prepare alert thresholds. These thresholds can be defined based on keywords, particularly sensitive subjects, and volume thresholds to monitor unusually high conversation rates. This helps monitor any abnormal runaway conversations, enabling prompt action before the situation spirals out of control.
Prepare the structure of your dynamic dashboards.
It is vital to prepare the structure of dynamic dashboards that display all the data feeds, which should be updated in real-time and ready to use. These data feeds can be qualitative and quantitative, such as the latest messages, influencers, media articles, the evolution of message volume by hour and channel, tones, key concepts, and emerging concepts. Having a well-prepared dashboard structure can help monitor the crisis in real-time and provide actionable insights to manage the crisis effectively.
Preparing the model Before a crisis occurs, preparing the model of analysis reports is essential. The format and structure of the reports should be determined, including the types of message restitution, graphics, analyzes, comments, and recommendations. It is also necessary to create links to dashboards to provide supporting evidence for the analysis.
The reports can be in A4 format or slides, depending on the client's needs. The structure of the report should be clear and easy to understand, with sections for the analysis of message volumes, sentiment analysis, key concepts, and emerging trends.
The types of message restitution can vary, including quotes from social media or customer feedback. Graphics such as bar graphs, pie charts, or line graphs should be included to visualize data. The analysis types may include comparing the client's sentiment to competitors or tracking changes in sentiment over time.
The comments and recommendations section is crucial, providing actionable steps to mitigate the crisis or improve the client's reputation. The links to dashboards should be included in the report to provide supporting evidence and allow the reader to delve deeper into the data.
Preparing a model for analysis reports
This ensures that the reports are comprehensive, easily understood, and can be produced quickly during a crisis.
Define your key indicators, such as message volumes, the influence of key stakeholders, and media coverage, and share your dashboards with all task force members. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and can work collaboratively to address the crisis. Additionally, regularly review and update the key indicators to ensure that the metrics are still relevant and aligned with the evolving situation.
d. Write the scenario and process
It is advisable to write as many scenarios and processes as possible upstream to be prepared for when a crisis occurs. By doing this, your organization can proactively plan and develop strategies for various potential crises, rather than scrambling to reactively respond to an unforeseen event. It's important to consider a range of scenarios, such as natural disasters, product recalls, data breaches, or scandals, and to create detailed processes and plans for each. With these plans, your organization can respond quickly and effectively to a crisis, potentially minimizing the damage and preserving your reputation.
Write down the crisis watch process and the roles of everyone in the agency and with your client.
It is important to define the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the crisis management process. This includes determining who will produce crisis management notes, alerts, and summaries and who the intended recipients are. The recipients could consist of the client's internal team, such as the Risk Manager, Director of Communications (Dir Com), or other key stakeholders.
Define standard messages and response channels.
To effectively manage a crisis, it is essential to establish a severity scale for messages on the web, considering the topics covered and the volume generated. This allows for appropriate responses, including individualized responses and more global communication, to be adopted depending on the severity of the situation.
In addition, it is important to determine the deliverables, their indicators, and their frequency in advance. For example, a one-sided summary note can be prepared for the CEO three times a day, while a two-sided note can be prepared for the Director of Communications. SMS alerts and phone calls can also be made to the Risk Manager and the Director of Communications. Establishing these deliverables and their indicators ensures that all stakeholders are informed of the situation and can take necessary actions to address the crisis.
2. During the Crisis on Social Networks and the Web
a. Assess the severity and gather the crisis task force
Arrange a meeting with the crisis task force at the agency and the client, which should include key members such as the Community Manager, Social Media Manager, Head of Social Media, Head of Digital Marketing, and Customer Relations.
Beyond social networks
In addition to analyzing chat sites and social networks, it is important to monitor search trends on Google, which is even more widely used than Facebook. During the Volkswagen benchmark crisis, for instance, search trends changed in less than 12 hours, reflecting a massive problem that was being widely discussed on the web. Therefore, staying informed of search trends is crucial to gain a complete picture of a crisis and its potential impact.
Staying connected to radio, TV, and print media is vital to gain a broader perspective and differentiate between issues that are exclusive to social media and those that also exist in traditional media. This approach helps take a step back from social media noise and analyze the situation more objectively.
Qualify the degree of seriousness of the crisis on social media:
A significant distinction exists between a crisis originating on social media and an external crisis picked up by social networks. In one scenario, social media users or the media on social networks are the instigators. At the same time, they serve as amplifiers and supplementary communication channels that propagate the crisis.
Crises that originate solely on social media are relatively infrequent. More commonly, these situations stem from negative publicity or feedback from dissatisfied customers and are limited to the confines of the respective social media platform or the web.
To assess the seriousness of a crisis on social networks and the web and its impact
To assess the severity of a crisis on social media and the web and its potential impact, several quantitative and qualitative indicators need to be analyzed. Questions that need to be considered include:
- Is the volume of messages significant, and how does it compare to industry benchmarks?
- Are the messages being relayed by influencers or opinion leaders, and what is their level of influence? Are traditional media channels also amplifying the message?
- Is the message being spread on one or multiple social media platforms?
- Are the core consumers of the client connected to the web? In other words, can the negative messages directly impact their purchasing decisions? Or, is the reputation crisis limited to the web and has little impact on the core target audience?
- Is the surge in negative messages temporary, or are they persisting over time?
b. Tailor the Response to The Targets
When dealing with a crisis, it is essential to tailor the response to the target audience. For example, suppose the most negative and influential messages are posted on Facebook. In that case, it is crucial to respond on that platform rather than relying solely on a press release distributed through corporate channels or traditional media outlets. Failing to do so may result in a response that never reaches the intended audience. No matter what response strategy is adopted, whether it involves admitting fault, denying allegations, or shifting the focus to a different issue, it is important to adhere to the principle that the response channel should match the transmitter channel.
To avoid diluting the communication message or favoring one channel over another; it is essential to maintain consistency between the speakers' messages on TV, press, radio, and the web news broadcast.
Do not overreact
If the crisis is not severe, and brand mentions are only limited to a small community, it is crucial to avoid responding with messages that would attract more attention than the buzz itself. In such cases, some companies choose not to respond to every bad buzz, being careful not to amplify it.
Pay attention to messages.
While paying attention to messages sent to influencers is essential, it is equally crucial not to neglect responses to "ordinary" internet users. These users could be loyal customers or ambassadors, and it is essential to engage with them and address their concerns to maintain a positive reputation and brand image
Check with the specialists.
To generate effective responses, it is crucial to verify the content of the messages and their accuracy with the specialists of the client company. We can only begin to conceive appropriate and relevant answers by knowing the truth.
Avoid snowball effects
To prevent the crisis from escalating or generating negative messages, it is important to avoid snowball effects. This can be achieved by refraining from responding hastily with an ill-prepared reply, displaying contempt or condescension, deleting negative messages, or referring directly to legal services, as it may appear to be a disproportionate and impersonal response. It is crucial to demonstrate empathy when dealing with such situations.
Additionally, one should avoid using irony or certain types of humor on social media platforms, as they may be misunderstood and misinterpreted.
3. After the Crisis on Social Network
Producing one or more post-crisis reports is crucial to assess the impact of the crisis on social media and the web and provide recommendations for post-crisis communication and system improvement. This applies not only to the organization but also to the watch and communication functions. It is important to monitor subjects, people, and products even after the crisis.
While a crisis may not reoccur, a new bad buzz could emerge due to new content shared by an influencer or media.
To prevent this, continue monitoring influencers, opinion leaders, and media outlets previously mentioned the crisis. It is also recommended to monitor other sources of information to stay informed of any potential risks.
Keep monitoring your subjects, people, and products. If a crisis does not necessarily reappear, a less significant bad buzz can start thanks to new content sharing by an influencer or media again.
Continue to monitor, in particular, but not exclusively, influencers and opinion leaders, and the media who have mentioned the customer crisis.
It is important to monitor all channels, including Earned, Owned, and Paid media, even if spontaneous conversations about the crisis have faded. Negative sentiments may still be expressed in brand-generated content or comments. For example, even though the unexpected negative messages about Volkswagen fell sharply one year after their crisis, harsh words spoken during the manufacturer's communication remained.
It's important to ask for feedback on crisis management on the web. During a crisis, your brand's messages may be overshadowed by criticism, regardless of their content. For instance, a French DIY and decoration store brand faced a similar situation during the start of the Ukraine war.
V. The Watchman: Dedicated to Crisis Monitoring
The role of the watchman is crucial in detecting and tracking a crisis. The term "watchman" encompasses anyone responsible for gathering, analyzing, and sharing relevant information to prevent, manage, or resolve a crisis.
The watchman plays an essential role in crisis monitoring, including
- Anticipating risks and opportunities related to the internal and external environment of the organization or territory. The watchman uses monitoring tools to identify and manage different types of risks specific to the organization and its sector and new risks and best practices to address these threats upstream.
- Providing insights to decision-makers and crisis stakeholders. The watchman feeds strategic and operational thinking internally to the Codir/Comex, spokesperson, risk manager, communicators and PR, financial department, marketing, product, and customer service. Externally, the watchman informs journalists, media, political organizations, and local and regional authorities.
- Facilitating communication and coordination between internal and external stakeholders. The watchman analyzes and synthesizes everyone's speeches and shares summaries to optimize information dissemination.
- Strengthening the organization's or territory's reputation and trust with its target audiences by providing necessary information on needs, questions, and fears to communicators, PR, and spokespersons.
To fulfill the role of the watchman in crisis monitoring, several tasks must be performed.
Firstly, the objectives, sources, tools, and methods of crisis monitoring must be defined based on the specific needs and context of the organization or territory. It is important to note that the sources to be monitored and collected go beyond the web and social networks. Relying on a network of internal and external experts and collecting feedback from the field for sharing with the management team is also necessary during a crisis.
Secondly, relevant information must be selected, verified, prioritized, and synthesized to manage the crisis. The watchman can rely on the algorithms and iA of monitoring software and his preparatory classification work to aid this process.
Thirdly, the watchman must produce and distribute deliverables adapted to recipients and situations, such as alerts, reports, dashboards, etc. Defining the format and frequency of deliverables according to the targets is part of the preliminary stages of crisis monitoring.
Fourthly, the watchman must ensure a permanent and reactive watch on the evolution of the crisis and its potential impacts. Integrating new sources over time, such as media and social accounts and monitoring new expressions, keywords, and hashtags is also essential.
Lastly, the watchman must adapt its monitoring based on feedback and lessons learned. Real-time crisis monitoring must be adaptable, including changing the scope of monitoring, adding recipients to deliverables, modifying the nature of summaries, adding new sections, and further monitoring public reactions to "elements of language."
Therefore, selecting a monitoring and social listening tool that is powerful, configurable, and easy to use is necessary. This will enable quick and autonomous configuration without relying on external teams, ensuring efficient crisis management.
Written by Christophe Asselin
Christophe est Senior Insights & Content Specialist @ Digimind. Fan du web depuis Compuserve, Lycos, Netscape, Yahoo!, Altavista, Ecila et les modems 28k, de l'e-réputation depuis 2007, il aime discuter et écrire sur la veille et le social listening, les internets, les marques, les usages, styles de vie et les bonnes pratiques.