FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ED DEVLIN
Crisis Management and Social Media
By ED DEVLIN, CBCP
In a number of recent issues of the Disaster Recovery Journal, I have commented on the need for companies to strengthen the “crisis management” element of their business continu- ity plans. (Crisis management is the role of executives in
responding during a crisis or disaster.)
The diagram below depicts my opinion of what a crisis management plan should consist of: namely the executive management plan, the crisis management team plan and the crisis
In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “For Companies,
a Tweet in Time Can Avert PR Mess,” the crisis communications
plan has been taken to a new level.
“A growing number of businesses are tracking social-media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to gauge
consumer sentiment and avert potential public-relations
Ford Motor Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Southwest Airlines
Co., among others, are deploying software and
assigning employees to monitor Internet postings and
blogs. They’re also assigning senior leaders to craft
corporate strategies for social media.
Prior to this article I believed companies mainly responded to
letters of complaint from customers, articles appearing in news-
papers or magazines that criticize a company, or undercover stories that depict disgruntled employees negative opinions of the
employer, etc. But this article written by Sarah E. Needleman,
gave some excellent examples of where companies were able to
minimize potential public relation problems by monitoring and
responding to blogs on the social media.
Needleman also pointed out the difficulties in establishing a
social media program by quoting Marcus Schmidt, a senior marketing manager for Microsoft Corp.
Schmidt said, “Monitoring a corporate image in
cyberspace is a daunting task, even with technological
help. Tracking software can identify hundreds of posts
daily, and managers must decide which could prove
troublesome. … If you start seeing a lot of people
re-tweeting it, then you know to pay attention.”
In summary, my question to you is this. Has your organization
started to monitor the social-media as part of your public relations
or marketing program?
Ed Devlin, CBCP, has provided business recovery planning consulting services since
1973 when he co-founded Devlin Associates. Since then, Devlin has assisted more than
300 companies in the writing of their business recovery plans and has made more than 800
seminars and presentations worldwide.
10 DISASTER RECOVERY JOURNAL FALL 2009