You know the issues management project you are working on? That’s right, the one that has taken months and extra hours at the office to develop messaging, train and coach spokespeople, develop a communications plan and create a media response strategy?
Well, let’s say it sparked a negative conversation online and your company needs to engage now. As your social media policy states, you must respond efficiently, be transparent and share as much information as you are able.
However, in a crisis and/or issues management scenario, many times your hands can be tied as to what you can and can’t say, especially if the situation centers around a confidential topic like a lawsuit or one that involves minors. At GroundFloor Media we encourage our clients to anticipate those issues: be proactive and prepare for them as best you can.
Grab your communications team and involve a few other leaders from your risk management, legal and executives teams, and brainstorm all the potential crises that can occur at your organization NOW. In addition to developing a crisis response strategy for each issue, think through what you can and can’t say legally and develop legal policies and guidelines for each scenario. This will help you craft messaging, secure legal and executive approvals efficiently and ensure better transparency with your customers when an issue does arise.
You may also want to consider publishing these guidelines within your website and/or social media properties. When the conversation heats up online, you can publish an approved statement and then direct people to the legal guidelines and policies section of your site. Obviously, these guidelines can really dictate what you can and can’t release and/or state – especially in the case of a sensitive crisis.