How to effectively manage a marketing crisis

How to effectively manage a marketing crisis

The best way to survive a marketing crisis is to be prepared well before the crisis actually hits. Easier said than done, right? While each crisis may come as a surprise, you should be well-versed in tactics to launch a response that is cohesive and inline with your brand.

Here are 5 tips to prepare you if a crisis arises:

  1. Make a plan

Smart organisations have a crisis management plan in place that involves every aspect of the organisation, from marketing and PR to HR, legal and even IT. The plan should include media training for executives, and pre-approved responses for public relations and social media.

Also consider how your website may handle traffic. Find a way to add bandwidth to your website quickly to prepare for the possibility of large volumes of people searching for your company. If your website was to crash that would only make your crisis worse.

  1. Assess the level of the crisis

You might receive a higher level of social media mentions one day but this doesn’t necessarily constitute a crisis.

Have a system in place that ranks the severity of the problem, like a traffic light or triage system.

A green scenario may be a high level of social media mentions that aren’t negative, whereas red may be a damning national news story.

The ranking system will enable you to determine how much of your resources you put towards combating the issue.

  1. Communicate early and frequently

If you are caught in a ‘red’ scenario, using your plan and prepared responses to respond via social media can be most effective.

Do not ignore the situation. Use social media to disseminate your stance and appear in control.

You may also need to implement a 24/7 social media monitoring team who also has the authority to act without seeking approval.

  1. Be honest and transparent

You will be caught out in lies or hiding information, so be upfront and tell the truth. Keep emotion out of your responses.

If necessary, equip your frontline staff like sales people and receptionists with an external message curated for the public. If only partial information is shared or a ‘no comment’, this can leave room for assumptions or inaccurate information, which is worse than sharing an honest message.

  1. Listen and use this as a chance to learn

Listen to the issue at hand. For all your preparation, if you respond with the wrong messaging this will only make the situation worse.

Also listen to what those involved with the crisis and the media are communicating. Respond succinctly, once you understand what the underlying issue is.

Finally, use the crisis as a chance to learn, as you don’t wish to make the same mistake again. Think about the crisis itself and what you need to change or reassess to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Also think about how well your crisis plan served you. Do you need to make changes?

If you would like assistance to plan for and effectively manage a marketing crisis, contact Green Door Co today.

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