August 8, 2022

Crisis communication: how to prevent it

By Jean de Salins
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If you’re running any kind of online community, it's likely that a crisis will eventually come your way. That’s why it’s essential to know how to handle an online communication crisis and understand the role that moderation plays in dealing with it properly.

In this article, we’ll explore both topics and share how we can help.

Crisis: A quick case study

Whether it’s bad buzzinsults, internal dramatoxicity, or online hate that’s got out of hand, a crisis can do serious damage to your company as well as collaborators and communities. 

Take for example Nestlé’s social media meltdown way back in 2010. Environmental campaigners, Greenpeace, created a campaign to highlight how Nestlé’s palm oil suppliers were negatively affecting Orangutan habitats in Indonesia. The campaign played on Nestlé’s famous KitKat slogan ‘Have a Break. Have a KitKat’ with the tagline ‘Have a break? Give orangutans a break.’

The campaign swiftly went viral across social media. Nestlé’s response? They simply removed the video by accusing Greenpeace of copyright infringement. They also deleted negative comments that appeared on their own channels. By trying to hide the issue, they made things worse, and their already shaky reputation for environmental damage was further threatened.

How moderation can help in a crisis

When a crisis like Nestlé’s occurs, it’s important to remember you aren’t alone. Automatic moderation tools can boost your social listening and monitoring capabilities, which in turn help you get a clear idea of what exactly is damaging your brand image. But even more importantly, it can help you anticipate potential crises before they occur. It’s all about really knowing your audience — how they react when something feels wrong, where they express their disappointment, and which sources they trust.

Why Bodyguard is best placed to support you

This is where we come in: Bodyguard isn’t just about filtering out negative content: we’re also an effective tool for getting closer to your online community and gauging audience sentiment. Our smart solution uses artificial intelligence to analyze huge amounts of content in real time, but it also simplifies the content via a useful dashboard, helping you assess all your accounts and platforms in one place. So, not only can you make an informed crisis management plan, but, once a crisis has begun, it’s easier than ever to combat misinformation. 

This said, as a crisis unfolds, it’s even more important to quickly formulate a response. Speed is everything – don’t leave communications too late, otherwise, misinformation has longer to spread and can even become viral. Your users will then begin to lose trust in you, which can eventually lead to a boycott. The best responses leverage all your communication channels, which is where monitoring interactions and responses across multiple social networks through moderation tools can be useful.

Bodyguard can help you prevent or manage a whole range of online crises, whether on social media or other platforms. Find out more.

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