Closely linked to customer service, social media tools have emerged as a primary communication channel for individuals and organisations during crises. The timely use of social media should be a core element of any crisis communications plan.
A good crisis communications plan outlines who will do what, when, where and how. So, if there’s a crisis, what can you do?
- Provide updates on events in real time.
- Reply to individual questions.
- Be clear on what information you can – and cannot – provide on your social channels.
- Point people to other channels (such as a phone line, or a police Twitter account) if you need to.
It’s worth having a document with an emergency contact list, and some guidelines and/or protocol on what to do during a crisis.
Three tips: be honest, be personal, respond to questions quickly.
Further reading: ‘Using social media in emergencies’ [Gov.uk]