When it comes to corporate crises, it is not a question of if… it is a question of when.
When the crisis hits, how you handle it can potentially save your company. In recent months you may have heard about the Tesla debacle in New York Times that according to Elon Musk cost Tesla $100 million. The bad press is not something you can control, but how you respond is the key.
Interestingly enough, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk took to Twitter to defend his company during the crisis. Was this a part of the company crisis management plan? Was this simply a brash decision by the frustrated CEO? Regardless of if this was in the formal plan or not to respond via Twitter, it should be a question you are asking yourself, “Should we be using social media during a company crisis’?”
To answer this question, you need to discuss a few things first:
- Are we communicating regularly enough on Twitter or social media for this response to not seem out of place?
- Social media simplifies “sharing”. Will having our statement shared rapidly be helpful or hurtful?
- Where did the news about the crisis break? If in local papers only then focus there. If on a t.v. news station, then focus there. If someone tweeted @ you, then focus there. Don’t over-share a response to a crisis unnecessarily.
With all of that said, it is important to at least be considering how social media fits into your crisis response plan. Be prepared because your investors have more of a voice than ever before.