Digital skills coaching for leaders

Digital skills coaching for leaders

In a crisis situation the media, customers and shareholders will expect to hear from your most senior leaders and experts.

It’s unlikely that they’ll wait for the next news bulletin, which is why CEOs, directors and expert voices need to be empowered to use social media.

Authentic, trusted voices

Leaders need to be authentic on social media, rather than stage-managed. There’s an expectation that they are practitioners: able to push the buttons and respond when they need. Virgin, Air Asia, Tesla and T-Mobile demonstrate the value in having leaders speak online for themselves, on separate but aligned channels.

We have helped leaders:

  • adopt personal social media channels in a professional, attributed capacity
  • find the confidence to use their own voice online
  • consult with customers online, around difficult issues
  • establish protocols for managing and responding to comments from hostile communities
  • understand enough of online crisis comms to make informed decisions

Our experience spans all sectors and levels of skills and confidence. We’re proud to have supported the work of forward-thinking Governments, regulators and FTSE 100 companies, to enable their leaders to speak online.

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Credible social media profiles

Coaching sessions and remote support to kick-start social media activity, or improve existing profiles

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Buy-in for social media response plans

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

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Good practice for social media

Bite sized learning and support to help leaders form habits that make social media sustainable and useful

The Social Simulator team presented a challenging case for why I needed to be on social media. Six weeks later I was super-grateful to have the ability – and confidence – to respond quickly to a breaking situation.

Social media is now firmly on my radar.

Director, UK regulator

Finding your voice online

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.

Creating a credible profile

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.

Making good decisions about online crisis response

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.

Leadership in a crisis: how to fight distraction

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.

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How should Government Ministers determine a media crisis?

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.

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Want to find out more? Contact us and we can show you how our platforms work and discuss how we could support your exercises

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