5 Tips for Handling a Crisis in Online Marketing

As much as we try to be proactive in the online marketing industry, there are still those instances when we must react, and more importantly, react in the right way. Those times are better known as a crisis, and will require immediate attention. With that being said, it’s never a bad idea to have an online crisis management plan. We’re here to provide you with a few tips so you can be prepared for just about anything thrown your way online! 🙌🏽

1. Be Timely

Respond as soon as possible. You want to be the first responder in any crisis situation so outside influencers don’t beat you to it. You know your brand best, therefore you should be the one to directly respond to any negative comment or situation related to your brand’s image. The last thing you want is for the wrong information to get out about the crisis, and dominate the conversation. This is how a brand can lose the control of the conversation and miss the chance to provide a solution.

2. Acknowledge Guilt

We may sound like your mother when we say this, but we must reiterate that you should never lie to cover any bad situation up. It may be hard to admit guilt or a mistake on behalf of your brand, but we promise that by acknowledging guilt, you will be far better off than trying to cover it up. Be accurate with facts and reiterate what went wrong and how you will prevent it from happening again in the future. Keep it short, and if needed direct consumers offline to a customer service representative.

3. Be Sensitive

Yes, it may be your brand under scrutiny, but if there are other victims involved in the situation, it is crucial to be sympathetic to anyone who may have been impacted. Know that your brand’s image and reputation is important, but the people who also fall victim to the situation are equally, if not more important, and should be treated that way.

4. Identify a Spokesperson

Having one primary spokesperson or company department to speak on behalf of your brand will allow you to remain consistent with messaging across the board. If you have more than one person responding or reacting on behalf of your brand, you may confuse people and seem less than authentic.

5. Know Your Key Messages

Identify a few key messages and talking points for your brand to use in case of a crisis.  That way you can respond in a timely manner with appropriate messaging that aligns with your brand values. Knowing how you will respond to your viewers and stakeholders before hand will relieve some of the stress and feeling of chaos once you are in the heart of a crisis. These messages will not be word for word what you will say every time, but you can quickly adjust the messages depending on what the crisis may be, making your response time even more efficient. To help identify your key messages for your brand, check out this article from PRSay.

We hope you and your brand never has to endure an online marketing crisis, but if you do, don’t freak out, just refer back to your plan. And, now you have a few tips to get you started on your online marketing crisis communication plan! 👍🏻 😊 And to read more on how to handle crisis communication for your brand in the digital age, check out this article from Entrepreneur.