Do you have a solid crisis management plan in place? Does it include your influencers?
There are a few reasons that influencers can make all the difference in a crisis situation:
- Having messaging come directly from real people instead of from a corporate-sounding spokesperson makes it feel more authentic. This authenticity means that it will have a better chance of resonating with your audience.
- Engaging influencers for help managing backlash takes some of the pressure off your customer support and communications team.
- Giving real information to real people wins your brand a reputation for transparency.
- It also makes your influencers feel trusted, and like part of the team. This means that they're more likely to be stronger advocates in the future.
If the house is on fire right now, hopefully you already have a crisis management plan in place with influencers that you know you can reach out to. But if not...
- Start with your existing list of influencers, customers, and advocates. You already built strong relationships with these people, and at least a small percentage of them will be happy to help you if you’re open and honest about the situation.
- While the prevailing advice is “don’t feed the trolls”, it’s often best practice to productively engage with people who are complaining about your business if you can. Apologize for the situation (if necessary), and share your plan to make it right. Most people just want to know that someone cares about them!
Then, once the crisis is over, start outlining a real management plan so next time you’re not running around like a chicken with your head cut off!
- Build your list of potential crises by keeping tabs of conversations about your competitors, brand weaknesses, and potential challenges to your industry.
- Build your list of influencers that you could count on to have your back in case of another crisis. It’s a good idea to have a broad list of people to count on. Sometimes a loyal customer is the right person to speak for you. Sometimes, it’s a third party who can stop misinformation in its tracks! Include people who lead the communities who might be impacted by the crisis.
Keep a watchful eye on your sentiment analysis. If you catch negative trends early, it’s far easier to right the ship!