Crisis Communication via Twitter

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    Keep it flowing both ways

    In the midst of using multiple media channels, it’s easy to get stuck in “transmit-only” mode, posting your own messages and not interacting with stakeholders. Doing this is a mistake though, especially when it comes time for crisis management. Instead, you should be striving to achieve as much two-way communication as possible, as this quote from a blog post by Ogilvy PR’s Laura Halsch explains:

    Engage: In a crisis, Twitter provides another venue for you to answer questions, raise issues and engage in a dialogue. Respond to questions and comments from customers, influencers, and media, especially those people who have been directly impacted. Your Twittering employees should be briefed on the issues, and if they can’t address a specific question, they should be equipped to send complaints to someone who can.

    Twitter presents a huge opportunity because your responses can be 100% visible to the public, making for great PR when the world sees you’re doing the right thing.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]