How to use Twitter to respond Public Relation (PR) crisis?

This topic is inspired from chatting among our digital people meet-up and how they react if the company didn’t deliver the service/product and this can be lead to the crisis. The interesting part is that the company published their twitter account. The people will use this as media to release their frustration. Some company will handle that crisis very well and some don’t – literally no respond!!!

Twitter is developing fast and slowly gaining a pretty serious character of a public relations social network. That’s why companies consider twitter as a public relations fast communicator targeting their customers, or people interested in them. When a problem occurs or a story comes up people search for answers everywhere online and if they don’t find any they start making their own assumptions which are easy to believe for other people who din’t find any answer too. This is a disaster for every company to deal with and on time measures are recommended. Twitter is an easy tool to prevent an isolated problem to become a public crisis and keep the customers, followers and stakeholders calm and informed about any type of progress towards solving the problem. Using twitter as a public relation crisis tool requires a well prepared and implemented communications plan to control the appearance of PR chaos.

Here’s a detailed plan on how to use twitter to respond public relation crisis:

  • Educate the staff – Make a small gathering and give some time for everyone in your working environment to learn how to use twitter and the rules applied. They should all be familiar with public relations and how to inform your followers in case of crisis.
  • Plan the communication procedure – What measures will be taken and what measures should be released in public (you are not obligated to tweet every detail). You have to decide who will speak on behalf of your company and how the information will be presented to him. Plan carefully before you release information in public, because some information can cause a huge impact.
  • Be active – Inform your followers before they are informed by a third party communication resource and your followers will know that you are seriously dealing with the problem. People usually want to know what measures are taken and how long it will take to solve the problem, so if you have specific data about this, make sure you share it. Don’t hide crucial details from the followers, try to convince them that they are not as dangerous as they seem. Get involved in their communication and if bad assumptions appear make sure you react and give a better explanation of the situation. Listen to what your followers have to say about this and what kind of emotions and reactions is this problem causing. You might have to compensate this later stage.