Posts Tagged ‘Crystal DeGoede’


14 Tips for Building Your Social Media Crisis Communications Plan

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
photo courtesy PRNews

photo courtesy PRNews

How long would it take you to get your CEO on the phone at 4pm on a Friday or during a holiday? That was one of the questions Dallas Lawrence (@dallaslawrence) posed during his session, “Crisis and Reputation Management in the Social Age” at the PRNews Media Relations Next Practices Conference last week in Washington, D.C.

One key takeaway from Lawrence included this quote: “From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg, good PR efforts have not changed. We are just so tied up in the new platforms that are out there, we forget the basic media relations practices.”

No matter how good your communication department is, it matters how you handle situations as they arise. You could do nothing wrong in today’s social environment and still have a crisis develop; you must be ready for that.

One example that Lawrence mentioned was when someone hacked the AP Twitter account to say there had been a bombing at the White House. Within seconds of that Tweet, the stock market declined for almost 30 minutes until people realized it wasn’t true.  When a crisis such as this occurs, Lawrence suggests looking at three roles social and digital media play during a crisis.

First, social media is an instigator. Were there not a social platform that allows us to send out our every thought, or record every stupid thing that happens, the crisis wouldn’t have occurred.

The next role is that of accelerant. A similar crisis may have happened 20 years ago, but it would not have metastasized so quickly without social media. So Lawrence stresses we must be prepared to act immediately instead of waiting and seeing.

The third and most important role social media plays is extinguisher. We can use social media effectively before, during, and after a crisis to mitigate the damage, and in some cases actually eliminate the crisis.

Social media continues to evolve and grow. There are more than 500 million users on Twitter, more than one billion users on Facebook, and four billion videos viewed on YouTube per day. Everyone knows a social media presence is necessary, so everyone is bombarded with content, and just because you posted a video or press release on Twitter or Facebook doesn’t mean that anyone cares or that anyone sees it.  Your message must be spot on.

Lawrence stated that 79 percent of companies believe they are only 12 months from a crisis, and 50 percent of those companies believe it will happen in the digital space. The biggest issue facing companies today is the inability to respond effectively to new media (including social media). And yet, only a third of businesses have a digital crisis plan.

If you need to develop a digital crisis plan from scratch, or if you just want to refine your existing plan, here are 14 lessons from Lawrence on how to handle that social media crisis.

1. Once a crisis breaks out on social media, identify your influencers, as they are most likely to impact the conversation. All people in social and digital are not the same, so make sure you know which people have the ability to shape decisions about your company.

2. Actively monitor your reputation and the activities of your protagonist(s) or advocate(s).

3. Avoid the information vacuum. Information spreads as soon as it’s available, regardless of its veracity. You can’t have a press conference every other hour; you have to release news in real time.

4. Develop a clear, effective and platform-appropriate message. Be where your crisis is happening. Craft an appropriate message for the platform on which you respond. If something is happening on Twitter, respond via Twitter first before sending out a press release.

5. Own your brand in social media before someone else does. People are actively stalking and brand jacking.  You should know not only your corporate entity’s brand, but all of your subsidiary brands.

6. A majority of journalists use Twitter for sources. Journalists are getting their news from Twitter in real-time before verifying the source of the story.

7. Make sure to include people, not logos, on your social media accounts. No one wants to engage with a logo, especially in a crisis. We want to talk and hear from someone.

8. Integration is key. It is critical to integrate your crisis communication plan across all channels.

9. Know what you are talking about. Once you lose the credibility it is really tough to get it back.

10. When you blow it, own up to it quickly.

11. When all else fails, don’t forget humor. When you have really gotten in too deep, the best way to recover is humor.

12. Integrate paid and earned media.

13. Have clear employee rules and training for social media engagement.

14. Don’t forget your secret weapon: your employees. They can be your most powerful allies online if you engage and arm them in time.

Do you have a crisis communications plan and would you be prepared to handle a crisis situation at 4 pm on a Friday? How do you manage the speed at which news spreads on social media?

2011 PRSA International Conference Orlando

Monday, October 17th, 2011

PRSA International 2011 - BurrellesLuce Tressa Robbins, Lauren Shapiro, Johna Burke, and Crystal deGoede

The ladies of BurrellesLuce are all ears (and a tiara!) at the 2011 PRSA International Conference in Orlando, Florida. From left to right: Tressa Robbins, Lauren Shapiro, Johna Burke, and Crystal deGoede.

Stop by our booth to see a demo of the Media Outreach, Media Monitoring, Media Reporting and Social Media Monitoring modules of BurrellesLuce WorkFlow and for a chance to enter one of several drawings for prizes. And let us know how you’re enjoying the conference!

PR Week Measurement Roundtable Q&A Takeaways

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Valerie Simon

Questions And AnswersOn Wednesday, May 4th, I had the opportunity to attend the PR Week Measurement Roundtable, along with some of my BurrellesLuce colleagues.

The roundtable focused on the constantly evolving role of measurement in the PR industry. Bernadette Casey, senior editor at PR Week, and Johna Burke, SVP of marketing here at BurrellesLuce, hosted the event. The breakfast provided attendees the opportunity to network with more than 25 senior leaders in measurement and featured a Q&A with Jason Forget, corporate reputation manager for GE Energy, among BurrellesLuce clients and friends.

In a quest to become a “gold standard communicator,” measurement is a key component of PR and marketing activity. In fact, 70 percent of the day at GE Energy is spent doing media monitoring and analysis.

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Custom Data and the Quest for Online Privacy

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Jets - Lauren and Cole Simon

Valerie Simon

Tomorrow, David Ring, EVP, business development, Universal Music Group; Gerard M. Stegmaier, attorney, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Howard Hogan, partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, will be holding a discussion at South by SouthWest. The question on everyone’s mind: Is the coexistence of data customization and privacy possible?

Custom data, created thanks to the availability of personal information online, creates opportunity for marketers and has the potential to offer users a better experience. Gathering data about users and even their online behaviors – as noted in this post from my BurrellesLuce colleague, Crystal deGoede,– results in increased knowledge about our customers and the potential to serve them better. But re-targeting also has the potential to be “creepy.” Increasing consumer privacy concerns are pushing legislators and the FTC to introduce new legislation that will offer web users more control of their personal data and empower the FTC to enforce voluntary privacy standards developed with Internet companies.

The fear of invasion of privacy is not new. Back in 2009, a White House Memoranda noted:

Potential benefits of web measurement and customization technologies are clear. With the help of such technologies, agencies will be able to allow users to customize their settings, avoid filling out duplicative information, and navigate websites more quickly and in a way that serves their interests and needs. These technologies will also allow agencies to see what is useful to the public and respond accordingly. Services to customers and users can be significantly improved as a result.

At the same time, OMB is acutely aware of, and sensitive to, the unique privacy questions raised by government uses of such technologies. Any such uses must not compromise or invade personal privacy. It is important to provide clear, firm, and unambiguous protection against any uses that would compromise or invade personal privacy.” (White House Memoranda: Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies, June 2010.)

While the government certainly must have a unique sensitivity to privacy concerns, data customization practices in the corporate world are also subject to scrutiny.  

It is clear that transparency, and easy to understand disclosures regarding how personal data is being used online and in social media are essential. In fact, Facebook continues to sit in the spotlight because of privacy concerns and user-control issues. While Facebook’s privacy policy seems to be a step in the right direction, “until Facebook tells its 600 million members what it tells its major advertisers and marketing partners – on how to configure its system to generate data and other desired ad responses – it is failing to protect user privacy,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. “We intend to push the FTC and Congress to force Facebook to come clean about its data privacy practices.”

With clear and simple language, I believe that a transparent and mutually beneficial relationship between marketers and users can exist. As a consumer, relevant messages and targeted advertising can be helpful and are certainly more welcome than advertisements for products and services that have no relevance to me and may even be offensive. My frequent postings about my children and the Jets, no doubt resulted in the advertisements for children’s Jets gear that populate my Facebook page, but as you can see from the accompanying picture, it was certainly of interest to me!

But what about other data that is being collected by deceptive methods? “Researchers at Carnegie-Mellon published a study concluding that many websites thwart users’ privacy settings by providing erroneous information to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer,” explains this Media Post article. Amazon.com is the latest company “allegedly circumventing the privacy settings of Internet Explorer users.”

What do you think? Is the coexistence of data customization and privacy possible? If the FTC is able to pass legislation to protect users privacy, how might this impact your public relations and marketing efforts?

The Smartphone Craze…

Monday, January 17th, 2011

International Consumer Electronics Show 2011: Attendees view exhibits in Central HallAt the end of 2009, I heard that mobile was the future of communications. As the New Year rolls in, it is fast becoming clear that 2011 may just be the year for mobile campaigns. Last month, Mashable made 5 Predictions for Mobile in 2011. The Verizon iPhone prediction is about to come true already. This announcement has sparked several online polls, asking if smartphone users will make a switch. When I registered for the Digital Capital Week (DCWeek) this week, even they asked me what kind of smartphone I use.

In my personal life, I’ve been living the smartphone debate for quite awhile. I was a tried and true Palm user, but BurrellesLuce has a Blackberry server, so I made the switch. My husband loved his iPhone, but hated that he could not get service anytime we were in a crowd of more than 20 people; he recently switched to Blackberry. My sister recently switched to a Droid and loves her ability to access a lot of information easily. According to TechCrunch, the best of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the Motorola Atrix smartphone.

Recently, my BurrellesLuce colleague Crystal deGoede blogged, You Are What You Use…What Does your Tech-Gadget Say About You?, which tries to categorize smartphone users based on survey results from the 2010 Gadget Census Report by Retrevo. Additionally, our Johna Burke listed her favorite Droid Apps in her post, Apps I LOVE for the DROID. BurrellesLuce even posted a newsletter on Using Mobile Apps to Connect with Your Audiences.

As mobile marketing and PR grows more in popularity, we’re also seeing more articles like Ragan’s 7 things you need to know about mobile communications. One of my favorite posts on the subject came from Mashable, who gave us 15+ Worthwhile Ways to Kill Some Time on Your Mobile. It reminds us we don’t need to play a game or read funny tweets to occupy the time waiting for the train or plane.

Are you going to make a smartphone switch in the near future? If so, what influences your decision? How does your smartphone help you be more productive? And what are some of the ways you’ll be looking to leverage mobile communications in your public relations initiatives this year?