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Digital Impact recap: Preparing to manage a crisis in real time

May 7, 2010


Yesterday, Heidi Sullivan, vice president of media research at Cision, and Shashi Bellamkonda, director of social media for Network Solutions, discussed how to prep an online crisis team to respond in real time. This session, titled “Rapid Fire Reactions” was part of PRSA’s Digital Impact conference in New York City.
Sullivan recommended several steps to successful crisis management: monitoring and research, deciding how to connect, responding, and pre- and post-crisis monitoring and participation. She stressed the importance of “listening for the point of need.” Listen to the customer — to their questions, complaints, compliments, suggestions and problems, she said.
“You want people to be fans [of your brand] because they will [back you] when crisis strikes. Also, thank people for thinking your brand is awesome,” Sullivan said.
She outlined some basic monitoring tools that are musts for an online crisis team, including: Google Alerts, Technorati and Twitter. These platforms will help you monitor your brand, competition and industry; find influencers and blogs in your industry; and find out who is talking about you.
And, Sullivan said, learn how to deal with detractors. She provided the following tips: acknowledge their right to complain, apologize if warranted, assert if warranted, assess what will help them feel better and act accordingly if possible. —Amy Jacques
For real-time updates from the Digital Impact conference, follow @PRSAtactics and hashtag #prsa_di


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