When things go wrong, it is helpful to have a plan. Social Media is NO exception. Rumors spread fast and the internet is the fastest way of communication in this day and age. The internet sends information very quickly and this information could be very incorrect and crucial information to an organization’s reputation and image.
Some steps given to help resolve a social media crisis for the UWSP Track and Field Team are:
1. Admit there is a problem and accurately define the problem
Problems can arise in social media, but it is important to be able to identify the difference between an actual problem and just rumors
2. Move quickly and calmly
Figure out where the problem started, and try to be the first to respond. The response should be calm and respectful.
3. Forgive and Forget; Apologize and Admit
If there is a problem on the organization’s end, a public apology can go far. Make a sincere and public apology. If the organization was under the wrong of another party, they should make a public forgiveness statement.
4. Leave no room for questions
Have a document with any questions that may arise from the public with answers. This information should include details of the incident, the parties at question, what actions will be taken, how to prevent this again, and anything else someone could predict to hear from the public.
5. Have all of the information in one place and allow space for feedback
This information should be detailed and posted in one place to make it easier for the public to find and for the organization to monitor and control feedback.
6. Have damage control
Allow the public to post thoughts and opinions in a controlled manner. Do not have this posted everyone, keep the post local.
7. Inform everyone – Put one person in control of responses
Make sure every person in the organization is aware of the instance(s) and knows any proper response. The public responses are to be handled by the Community Leader only and there will be a provided response for all of the other employees to give anyone asking for more information. Such as: “I cannot give you any answers at this time” or “Please speak to the Community Leader for more information at this time”.
8. Document everything
All incidents and actions need to be documented, dated, and filed. This will allow anyone to be able to see how things happened, how they discovered the problem, and how they can help to avoid similar instances to occur. This will also serve as protection for the organization if other parties pursued legal advice on the instance.
9. Be prepared to get legal help
While getting lawyers involved is not the most popular answer, it is valuable to have legal advice to protect the organization and its members.
BY: Taylor Cipicchio
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