Communicating with Your Audience
Dealing with a crisis is a lot like dealing with an escalating situation, as I show you in Chapter 15. You assess the situation, learn what you can about the commenters involved, and then decide what to do. When you have your response ready, you can first respond to the commenters involved. For guidance on framing that response, follow the steps I share in Chapter 15.
The following list contains the basic steps for communicating with your audience in a crisis. Keep in mind that every scenario is unique, so every step may not apply to your situation. Use your best judgment.
1. Double-check to be sure that this is indeed a crisis situation. If it isn’t, you risk making a mountain out of a molehill or, worse yet, creating a real issue by talking so much about it online.
The next section titled “Perception Is Reality” tells you more about this issue. Don’t worry; here are clear indicators that it’s time to kick your online crisis communications strategy into gear. Remember, if you’ve done the planning work that I show you, you will do just fine.
• Something strange is going on: You’re seeing a new kind of (heated) complaint or information that you’ve never seen before. Perk up your monitoring ...