MF Communication is a Belfast PR & Marketing Communications agency that provides corporate and brand PR and Marketing solutions to clients in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Services range from proactive marketing, PR and stakeholder relations to crisis communications and corporate reputation management.

60% of businesses don't have a plan to deal with a PR crisis on social media, is yours one of them?

The Continuity Insights Crisis Communications: Social Media & Notification Systems survey provides unique insight into recent trends and notable changes in the ways that organizations use social media and notification systems to communicate both internally and externally. There is no surprise that the most recent survey reveals that the use of social media as a communications tool continues to grow with organizations are reporting an increased presence on most social media sites, as well as an increased following by the public. Yet despite all this online activity, 60% stated they did not have a social media plan to deal with a PR crisis or major incident if one was to hit their organisation. That's 60% of businesses who are crossing their fingers and hoping that it will never happen to them. But the truth is that in today's always connected, always on world the chances of being caught up in a crisis are more probable that ever before.

Having plans in place for monitoring your online brand or corporate reputation both during normal operations and during crises are crucial. A good crisis plan has three stages: pre-crisis, mid-crisis and post-crisis. The time and attention a company gives to ensuring it is prepared in the pre-crisis phase in my view gives it the best possible chance of success. PR crisis can be overcome with proper preparation and planning. There are plenty of online tools to help companies keep track of mentions online. By imputing the keywords you need to track you can receive notifications of when your brand or company is mentioned, on Twitter for example. But human judgement is also required to ensure that you can reliably understand the sentiment behind the words.

It’s equally important to remember that once you have a response plan in place it needs to be regularly reviewed and rehearsed!