There is no surprise that the survey reveals that the use of social media as a communications tool continues to grow with organizations 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.
Finally it’s equally important to remember that once you have a response plan in place it needs to be regularly reviewed and rehearsed.