At a recent media masterclass with a group of manufacturing executives, one of the liveliest discussions of the day was about social media.
Most of those round the table were nervous of their companies embarking on social media.
They work in a potentially very controversial sector, which could leave them open to a lot of criticism and negative comment – particularly if there were an accident. They feared this would be extremely difficult to control.
However, if you do work in a potentially contentious area, having a presence on social media forums can be a positive advantage if something goes wrong.
Nowadays social media is a vital tool in crisis communications. They key advantages are:
1. You don’t have to quickly establish a social media presence when your organisation is already under pressure.
2. You have a very quick way to disseminate information about what is going on to a very wide audience.
3. If you don’t comment yourself, any misinformation and speculation can become the accepted truth.
4. You can monitor what is being said about you and, if necessary, respond to scotch any untruths.
5. That message is is in your own words, not edited by journalists.
6. Media outlets now use social media as a source of news and comment.