When it comes to social media, many organizations unfortunately elect
to handle everything internally without sufficiently assessing their in-house
capabilities first. Perhaps outsourcing social media related services is not
viewed as a good idea because of the cost, confidentiality issues or certain
brand implications. Whatever the reasons may be, it is important to realize
that because an employee knows how to contribute to Facebook or how
to upload a video to You Tube does not imply that she or he has sufficient
expertise in essential areas such as stakeholder management, message
development, etc. Engaging qualified external social media consultants may
therefore be another helpful and in some cases critical step on your organization’s road to increased crisis readiness.
Mistake #8 – Unspecified Landmarks
Even today, many travelers get lost on their way for reasons other than
weather or technical challenges. Many of them do not make it because they
fail to divide their journey into manageable stages.
The fact that some organizations have not thought through important
processes, technicalities and deliverables of social media usually brings
about a comparable result. Determining appropriate milestones or landmarks such as monitoring the Internet for inaccurate content related to the
organization or establishing a Twitter account and a Facebook page up
front makes taking stock and continuously assessing what still needs to be
accomplished possible. So devise a timeline and link it to specific objectives
on your organization’s way to becoming more crisis resilient through the use
of social media.
Mistake #9 – Biased Emphasis
Many organizations are paying too much attention to social media tools
and the technology and particular techniques of getting information distrib-
uted via social media. Comparatively few organizations are paying enough
attention to the social dimension of social media. Social media is not only
about gadgetry, applications, and widgets. After all, a growing number of
(reputational) crises nowadays result from the use of social media by citizen
journalists who, for the first time in history, can provide uncensored (and
sometimes deliberately false) information to a global audience in real time.
Social media must be about how organizations continuously listen to and
engage with their stakeholders, how they strive to better understand and
cater to their stakeholders’ informational needs, and how they communicate
with specific stakeholders utilizing carefully developed messages and tech-
nologies that enhance sharing.
This article was written by Gideon F. For-mukwai, MA, CEM and a senior
consultant at C4CS, LLC and Oliver S. Schmidt, managing partner of C4CS,
LLC. In January, C4CS® ( www.c4cs.com) will begin teaching an e-Learning
course on “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Crisis Management”
that is marketed and administered by the International Consortium for
Organizational Resilience (ICOR). Successful completion of the e-Learning
course earns participants a Certificate in Social Media Crisis Management
Planning accredited by ICOR. The course brochure can be downloaded at
Harnessing the Power of Social Media
• An introductory eLearning course designed to help
professionals better understand and learn to use
social media effectively.
• Learn how to integrate social media into crisis
management and crisis communication to pave
the way to a successful recovery.
Improve Your Crisis Management Capability!
contact us: www.theicor.org +1630-705-0910