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How to make a better crisis communication plan including your app?


Written by on Monday, April 14th 2014 15:00


"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about it you'll do things differently "
Warren Buffett

What is a crisis communication?

A crisis communication is a strategic way to communicate with the public when a situation occurs that seriously affects a company and it’s reputation creating a negative impact on it's global image.

I'll give you an example to explain... In 2009 two employees from Domino's Pizza filmed a video doing nasty things while they were preparing food that later would be delivered to customers. Obviously, this video was shared on social networks and it spread like a wildfire.

You can imagine what came after... and the negative impact that this video had on Domino’s brand. 

For this reason, you must be prepared for everything. It is therefore essential to develope a crisis plan that includes:
- all situations that may arise
- who will be responsible for managing them
- the actions that will be undertaken to control them.

Think about which messages are most appropriate for each case, and how they should be spread.

Getting out of the crisis

To overcome the crisis you have to carry out several actions to prevent the reputation of your brand from plummeting:

- Identify the cause(s) of the crisis and the effect(s).
- Communicate with your customers.
- Communicate with your employees; it is essential that they all know what is happening.
- Contact the media.
- Advertise.
- Begin online communication.
- Use Social Media.

I would like to give you several reasons why it is important to use an app in a crisis communication and on how use this tool to it's full potential.

Why?

It's the fastest way to connect with your users because it is in their pocket at all times. Also, it has many tools that can help you before, during, and after the crisis.

Use push notifications

Push notifications are short messages that you can send to your users. They are an easy and fast way to keep your user updated.

For example, lets say your restaurant is the one of the previous example and it is located in Barcelona. You start getting calls from your customers who have seen the video and are alarmed, either because they eat there every day or because they have been there at least once, maybe they are angry with the brand... There are thousands of possible reasons.

With push notifications, you can send a specific message to your customers that already have your app and are located in Barcelona, thanks to the targeting tool. These notifications can contain apologies, the solutions and measures that are taking place to solve the problem, and other useful infos to best manage the outage.

Immediate content

When an event of this nature occurs in a company, everyone wants to receive explanations and someone from the company could be liable.

For example, in Domino's crisis the director performed a video in which he apologized and explained the actions that the company was implementing to address the crisis.

With your app you can quickly share the press release that you're going to use in your media using your news feed. Or, if you're going to make a video you can share it in your video section.

Your customers trust you, so you owe them an explanation.

We know that these situations are not pleasant, but you have to face them in the best way possible, without deleting comments, or turning a blind eye to the situation, otherwise you'll only end up creating a Streisand effect.

“Submit” section

If you have a “submit” section in your app, surely, it will be filled with comments. These comments are gold! Do not ignore them and see what your consumers care about. Try to put yourself in your costumer’s shoes.

This is one of the most useful tools you have in this moment, if you address the problem of the client you can recuperate him/her. If he does not complain and simply leaves you it is far worse. Don’t you think?
You can even improve the perception that your customers have of you if you have handled the crisis well.

One advice; keep calm, be smart and prudent. Remember that there will sometimes be trolls waiting for you to fall into their provocations.

What happens after

After the storm comes the calm...

Once you’ve managed the crisis you can see the problem from the distance with a different attitude, learning from the mistakes.

Prepare a report with the actions that you have done well, and those that should be improved. You never know when a new storm may break out.





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