Not every social media knock is a crisis, and it's important to be mindful of the difference. Crisis communication guru Melissa Agnes makes this helpful distinction in a post passed along by the Media Skills Academy. Despite a formatting lapse (the Agnes post apparently begins with the second paragraph) the counsel is important to not being stampeded by an edgy appearance in social media.
"A social media crisis," Agnes (apparently) writes, "is a show-stopping ordeal. This means that you're faced with an online issue that has, or threatens to have, a damaging impact on your brand's reputation and/or your bottom line for the long-term."
By contrast, "A social media issue, although a highly undesirable and overwhelming situation, does not threaten any long-term repercussions on your brand's reputation or bottom line."
Not every negative online mention, thus, is a crisis; keep your cool in deciding which is which. The Media Skills/Agnes posting includes five checkpoints to help you decide which is which. Ponder and stay mindful of them.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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