Effective Crisis Communication Messaging: Short and Sweet

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    Short and Sweet: The Ideal Crisis Communication Messaging

    Mold crisis communication management messaging to fit a Tweet and reap the benefits.

    Today you’re more likely to catch a breaking story on Twitter than on the evening news. Both professional and amateur (read: everyone else) reporters are using Twitter to share and discuss current events every minute of every day, and that’s exactly why you need to craft what social media expert Melissa Agnes called “tweet-worthy messages” in a recent blog post:

    In a crisis, you want your message to be powerful, to the point, memorable and seen by the right people. Being prepared with a strategic and to-the-point soundbite is a good way to accomplish this crisis communications mission. Now, what if your soundbite was so strategically thought-out that it was short enough to fit into a tweet – and better yet, short enough to be retweeted by others?

    This would:

    • Up your chances of retweets, and thus providing you with the potential for maximum views
    • Make your message easy for others to write about, talk about and share
    • Leave your audience with choice-words that are memorable and to the point

    By crafting short messages that easily fit in below Twitter’s 140-character limit, you are greatly increasing the potential reach of your crisis communication messaging. Instead of simply reading a statement and moving on or, perhaps worse, shortening it themselves and getting key points or facts wrong, interested parties will be able to share your exact statement with the click of a button.

    A side benefit of the extreme short form is that it really forces you to hone your messages down to a fine point. There won’t be any rambling explanations or overcomplicated techno-babble here, just short, precise statements that convey the desired points.

    If you’re in a crisis, you can all but guarantee Twitter will somehow be involved. Make the most of it by creating tweetable soundbites and letting your audience help you get your story out there.

    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 Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also the editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]