How would your team handle social media in a crisis?
from Helpful Digital
Coaching sessions and remote support to kick-start social media activity, or improve existing profiles
Briefing on the opportunities and risks of social media in a crisis, giving leaders what they need to know, to make informed decisions at critical moments
Bite sized learning and support to help leaders form habits that make social media sustainable and useful
It isn’t easy for leaders to use their own voice on social media. Understandably, they feel loyal, or confined, to their organisation’s official tone.
Why is this a problem? Because tweets, blog posts or videos become statements of intent instead of conversations. They risk making leaders appear emotionless or over-briefed and not in control.
Ask yourself – if you took tweets from 3 leaders in your organisation and anonymised them, would staff know which tweet belonged to whom?
We provide advice on language, tone and general content, to help leaders (and their communications teams) cut through out-of-date policies and expectations, and speak in their own voice.
Rightly or wrongly, credibility is often judged on first appearances: a leader’s social media profile, the frequency of their activity online and how they respond to individuals.
A credible leader provides as much relevant information as they can, and does so with passion and empathy. They’re using social media in good times and bad. They share interesting or fun elements of their personal lives and take an active interest in their audience and customers.
We coach leaders over days, weeks and months to help them develop a credible social media profile. Our clients adopt social media for finding and consuming news and analysis, networking, promoting their work – and responding quickly in a crisis.
Crisis response on social media works best when the whole organisation understands the opportunity and challenges online. Leaders need to buy-in to social media ad spend, be ready to use their channels to respond and step in front of a camera. They need sufficient knowledge of how people consume information online, for them to feel empowered. But, in most cases they don’t need to understand the detail of how content is created, edited and published.
We brief leadership teams on essential terminology, good practice and understanding of how their audience use social media to read and share information. We won’t patronise your colleagues, but we will challenge them to consider where they feel less confident and convince them that social media is an essential part of crisis response.
While it’s hard to tweet and think under pressure, a leader’s own social media channels should be part of the response strategy. A message from a leader that demonstrates concern and empathy is hugely valuable – but in the pressure of a crisis, they need a supportive team around them to understand the context and handle the response they’ll inevitably get.
Steph Gray argues why social-savvy empathetic leaders are an important part of crisis response.
Politicians and senior leaders are reliant on distilled packages of information and advice. Listening to the web and responding to your audience online (which is very different to ‘managing the media’) can provide government with a much more balanced view of whether something is a crisis.
Tim Lloyd argues that senior public leaders should be just as tuned in to what their audiences are saying online, as the media.
Email us now to set up a demonstration and discuss how we could support your training: