There’s a British proverb that says, “Youth looks forward but age looks back.” That pretty much sums up the way Blue Bell Ice Cream and Twitter handled their respective crises last month.
At a crisis management workshop at the Counselors Academy conference led by Joan Gladstone of Gladstone International, attendees were asked if they were prepared to say yes whenever a clients asks for help in a crisis. “If not, you’re taking a big risk that your clients may go elsewhere for crisis communications counseling and other PR services,” Gladstone said.
The growing manifestation of becoming a joke has sparked a new and growing phase in the lifecycle of your crisis and recovery plan. What do you do when your brand becomes the object of the latest globally trending Internet meme? What’s the right course of action when thousands of satirical, animated GIFs are being produced and shared every hour?
It’s one thing when agencies help their clients to manage an external crisis and/or cauterize a wound. But what happens when the crisis is happening right at the table and an otherwise stable relationship may be headed for the rocks?
Engaging the public on social media is one of the most effective—and dangerous—ways of handling a brand crisis. It can reach around the world in a heartbeat and it offers you a greater degree of control over your message than traditional media, provided you use it correctly.
Partisanship and policy aside, the campaign trail offers key PR lessons. Whether it’s a presidential hopeful hitting the campaign trail or a new CEO meeting with stakeholders, making a strong first impression is crucial. And perception may trump reality.