Digital Crisis Management Strategies

Whether or not a crisis originated in an online channel, a la YouTube or Twitter, ultimately has no bearing on digital platforms’ role in the subsequent management and recovery strategies. Larry Smith, president of the Institute for Crisis Management, urges communications professionals to prepare accordingly by considering the following digital crisis management strategies: Identify a digital crisis team, which should include: • Team leader • Writer • Digital designer • Web developer • Audio/video producer • PR/online communicator • Liaison to the crisis team Develop crisis Web site(s) • Create in advance so they can go live at a moment’s notice; • When a crisis erupts, drive the public to the site; and, • Leverage search engines and social media. Design a Web template with spaces to fill in with specifics: • Who, what, where, when, why and how; and, • Can be customized based on the nature of the crisis. Consider temporarily replacing the home page with the crisis site: • Helps control the message better in the chaos immediately following a crisis.

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