R’Acres Organic Produce understands that social media is a powerful tool for communication and reputation whether it be positive or negative. R’Acres aims to have positive interactions, however, should negative feedback lead to a social media crisis the following action plan will be implemented to handle the situation.
What is a Social Media Crisis?
- When R’Acres Organic Produce brand is under attack by dozens of individuals or key stakeholders throughout the community either through negative comments directed at R’Acres or negative comments being shared about R’Acres. This would likely occur after small attacks of negative publicity have not been able to be handled adequately and have grown into a larger situation. Crisis management is meant to be used as R’Acres final line of defense.
Who is responsible for responding and handling a Social Media Crisis?
- If media crisis occurs, R’Acres Community Manager is responsible for handling the situation promptly by removing the content, revising the content, or creating new content. The Community Manager will also be responsible for apologizing for any unfortunate crisis situations and contacting those directly impacted. If the Community Manager is not available to handle the crisis R’Acres business managers/owners will resume responsibility.
- If an employee of R’Acres Organic Produce is the first to witness and social media crisis they should reply “our Community Manager will be in touch with you soon to directly address your concerns”. The employee should then immediately contact the Social Media Manager to make them aware of the situation for handling. If the Community Manager is not able to be reached the employee will directly contact one of R’Acres business managers/co-owers (Jason or Cara Recker).
- The Community Manager is responsible for immediately making one of R’Acres business managers/co-owers (Jason or Cara Recker) aware of the situation and keeping them informed throughout the handling of the crisis. Because all employees of R’Acres are valuable and may be sought out to have questions answered during a crisis, the Community Manager will also be responsible for briefing employees on how the situation is being handled
- If at any time during the handling of the crisis R’Acres Community Manager and the owners feel the situation could lead to legal matters R’Acres insurance company and attorney will be contacted to provide professional insight as well.
How to handle a Social Media Crisis (or off-line crisis):
- Acknowledge the problem– Do this as soon as possible and reach out to R’Acres audience/customers. State the issue and facts. Clarify the situation if needed. Example: “Salad mix packed between June 3rd and June 5th may have been contaminated with Nora virus. We are looking into this situation”.
- Don’t be afraid to buy R’Acres some time with an update– If R’Acres does not have all the answers immediately, it is important to let the audience/customers know we are working on correcting the problem and updates will follow.
- Create channels for dialogue– A Facebook discussion tab will be created through the R’Acres Facebook page to channel public discussion of the concerned situation at hand. The Community Manager will be will mediate the discussion there.
- Tell audience what R’Acres is doing to fix the problem and update often– R’Acres will use Facebook to update the public on the situation and efforts being done to correct it.
- Aplogize- Regardless of the situation R’Acres will always apologize for causing some form of upset, even if it was unintentional or not viewed as “an issue” by everyone involved. Being empathic to those involved
- Engage audience by asking what they would like to see R’Acres do– open a discussion with the public to shift from why they are upset to how they think you can fix the problem (change from a negative to a positive focus).
- Consider going off line– the person who wrote the complaint online will often appreciate a personal phone call or e-mail, R’Acres will offer to contact those affected personally if desired. Going off-line may also need to be considered if the situation is not able to de-escalate online. Continue to keep the on-line audience up-to-date that measures of handling the situation are being taken off line, but R’Acres will keep them informed of progress made.
- Follow-up- once the crisis is over follow up with an external report to the public highlighting what happened, what was done to correct the problem and what is being done to prevent a future crisis. Also follow-up with an internal report of similar nature specific to the operations of R’Acres to be sure the situation was handled properly and to update policies/procedures if needed.
If you have any concerns/questions about these guidelines or something posted on one of our social media sites, please contact R’Acres Community Manager or email R’Acres manager/co-owner, Cara Recker, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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