Boeing is not having a great week, as a second plane in its B737 Max range crashed.  Of course, taking care of this horrific tragedy is the ultimate priority, but after the storm: how do you repair the brand on social?

Managing a crisis

Managing a crisis is first and foremost a question of preparation: know who should be listening for crises, know which contacts should be acting in case of a crisis. It’s like a movie you hope will never be produced, but you do need a detailed script.

Katja Verloo, social media agency, instagram, internship, intern, WE LIKE YOU,

So what should a social media crisis script look like? It really depends on the sector your brand is in, but here’s the general structure:

  •  Which listening systems are in place, what are we listening for, who is listening?

  • What defines a crisis and what doesn’t? One complaint does not a crisis make.

  • In case of a (potential) crisis: who should be alerted and how?

  • Stop communication system: who will cancel all planned communication messages until further notice?

  • Acknowledging the issue: who will write and approve a statement?

  • Who will create and spread a crisis FAQ document to community manager?

  • When can CM’s start responding?

  • Lessons learned: how will we evaluate our crisis communication?

Your communication staff, especially community managers, should be trained regularly in this script. And who knows, your brand might come out of this stronger.

In the end, don’t forget…

We’re all human, we make mistakes. There’s a certain elegance in admitting you’re wrong and doing everything to mend that error. Sometimes it’s better to let go of the corporate talk, and just get real and empathic.