The Social Media Crisis Plan has been established to ensure all social media issues involving the Wood County Health Department are resolved in a timely, appropriate, and calm manner. The WCHD Crisis Communication Team will manage all social media crises by utilizing the Social Media Crisis Plan. Utilizing our Social Media Crisis Plan will empower us to act quickly and effectively when and if a crisis occurs. It will allow us to take action and prevent the crisis from growing out of control.
- Acknowledge that there is a social media crisis occurring and act promptly. This is an important step and allows you to let people know that you are aware of the situation and are working on a solution. This will also reaffirm customers’ faith in you and it will show them that you care. Don’t be afraid to include a “time-buying” message, something as simple as “We are experiencing an issue and will continue to update as we find out more information.”
IDENTIFY & ANALYZE
- Once you have acknowledged that that there is a social media crisis occurring, figure out what exactly the problem is and where the problem originated from. Try to be the first to respond. It is also important to make sure we know exactly what happened and how it was handled at the time. By understanding the issue to the best of our ability allows us to address the issue in the appropriate manner.
- It is important to remember to apologize for any mishap that may have occurred on the organizations end. A public apology can go a long way, but make sure it is a sincere and well thought out apology. Sometimes, that’s all people want to hear when they are upset is “I’m / We are sorry.”
CREATE A CHANNEL FOR DIALOGUE
- Depending on what platform the crisis occurred will determine where the channel will be created. For example; if the crisis occurred on Facebook, a Facebook tab would be created to channel public discussion in order to keep it in one place for the Communication Team to manage. Creating a dialogue allows people to express their opinion, whether good or bad. If there are loyal customers, partners and/or stakeholders who have good reviews or statements, this could help outweigh any negatives. This is also a great place to ask for input.
UPDATE ALL PLATFORMS – BE HONEST, TRANSPARENT & RESPOND THOUGHTFULLY
- It is worth putting some effort into writing a thoughtful response aimed at addressing the concerns. Update the audience on how the WCHD is handling and fixing the problem. It is critical to be honest and upfront about any issues our company may be facing. If we made a mistake, admit it, apologize, and do everything in our power to correct it. We are all human and humans make mistakes.
- All incident need to be documented thoroughly.
BE PREPARED TO INCLUDE LEGAL AUTHORITIES IF NECESSARY
- Do Not Lose Your Cool – Ever. There may be times when you disagree, but being rude or attacking them in social forums is absolutely unacceptable. Provide the best information you can and do your best to satisfy every inquiry.
- Know when to take it offline.
- Never delete a negative comment. This could cause the commenter to become more angry.
- Clear the air. Correct information that is not true.
- Don’t be rude.
- Turn off scheduled posts.