We’ve all been there – you plan an event perfectly, hoping that it will go off without a hitch, but at the last minute the food doesn’t show up and you are in the midst of a room of hungry, angry partiers. Or maybe one of your co-workers is quoted out of context in an article in the newspaper, reflecting very poorly on your business, and you have to explain the mistake to the public. Perhaps you put together a very costly ad campaign and your client finds major spelling errors on the materials after they have been produced. Of course your instinct is to panic! Never fear – we have some tricks and tips that will help you save face even in the worst situations, and manage a mess.
Any way you slice it, crises are inevitable. However, what is most important to remember in these situations is that it’s not about the crisis – it’s about how you handle it – that matters.
For most of us, when something happens that causes us shame or embarrassment, we want to hide and hope that it goes away. We know from experience…unfortunately. But this is the worst way to respond to a crisis situation! Instead of panicking, communicate honestly and proactively – it won’t make the problem disappear, but it will set you up for respect every time.
This doesn’t come naturally for many of us, so we want to help you navigate your worst nightmares:
- Develop a crisis communication plan –plan ahead of time by preparing for the worst (and always hoping for the best!)
- Appoint your communicators – not everyone can speak or write eloquently under times of stress, so decide who can to avoid mishaps with the public/press/etc.
- Be proactive –communicate as soon as you can to get ahead of the problem and avoid a misunderstanding, misinterpretation or confusion.
- Don’t hide or pass the blame – accept, address and deal with it.
- Manage the media – develop an appropriate message (or messages, depending on your audiences) for newspaper, tv, radio and social media.
- Honesty is the best policy – you will gain more trust from telling the truth and admitting mistakes than trying to cover up something that has happened.
Though you may not be able to dodge every bullet that comes your way, with these tips and tricks in your back pocket, when crisis strikes, at least you can say you were prepared!
Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. Most people now turn to the internet to get their news and information, and especially for younger generations, the best way to capture their attention is to lure them in through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s easy to set up these pages to promote your business, but to do it in a way that enhances your profits? That’s another story.
One of the best secrets of how to maximize your digital impact and keep your fans coming back to your sites lies in what they get out of it – how good is the deal?
Before you can really start making an impact, you not only have to make friends and gain followers, but you have to find a way to continue to multiply them so they will spread the word about you to their friends, and so on. But in order to really boost the response you get through social media, you must be doing something interesting enough to make them want to keep coming back; provide them some value! For a business, people are more likely to visit your Facebook and Twitter sites if they will get something out of it – so you’ve got to find a way to make your business more enticing – give them a reason to keep checking up on you! Create deals that only your “friends” will know about, like giving away freebies or special discounts.
According to a recent study posted on grabstats.com, 67% of customers will like a Facebook page to save 25% or more, 17% will tweet or retweet a deal to save 25% or more, and 12% have looked for deals on social media sites using their smartphones. By providing discounts, you will bring a great deal of traffic to your social media sites, instantly increasing their value. Restaurants can give free food, gyms can give a free week-long membership or free admission to special classes, and other businesses can find creative ways to give discounts – such as a “2 for 1” deal. Furthermore, social media as B2B marketing is a very powerful tool and can help you connect with business prospects as well as customers – this is often overlooked, so we are reminding you to take advantage of this opportunity! If you share the right information and provide incentives for other businesses to follow you, this form of free advertising and exposure can really work in your favor.
Whatever you decide to promote through your social media sites, make it a good enough promotion that people will come into your store or business and enjoy your product or service. And the bonus? If they like it, they will keep checking back to your site for more (which you must continue to provide), increasing the traffic to your accounts and learning more about your business, which is the best deal of all.