Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
No one wants or desires attack but we can not afford that once in a while. Sometimes the attack may not be intentional or it may be a result of mis-directed angst. Attack may be justifiable also. A careless press of computer buttons by an individual can spell a viral damage and the hard earned image, reputation of the brand will be gone. Most of the justified attacks may stem from brand’s behavior, attitude. Whichever way the attack comes from, a brand will do well if it already has its arsenal positioned in a way that guarantees early detection of the attack through setting up alerts that can help them notice the source of the attack as soon as it starts. Inability of brands to do this will make the damage spread like a wild fire that becomes unquenchable without great bucks.
The followings can be adapted by brands when there is any attack.
1. Plan your response strategy: Without a plan, failure is inevitable. Every brand must develop crisis response plan. There are several types of crises, attacks, being pro-active helps a lot in handling any brand attack whether it is online or in the physical space. When a brand has plan, the brand will not shot it doors to people who needs information as we normally have during crisis and attack. The brand and its owner know what to do next.
2. Set up alerts: Always set up alerts on the net to help you have access to brewing attack before it becomes widespread. This should be the initial set of weapons in combating any form of attack particularly the online ones. Physical alert is to know the editors that handle your beats, niche in all the media who can bring the issues to you as it breaks.
3. Listen: The first step that should be followed is to listen attentively. Listen to what is being said. Never jump this level because if the brand does not have good command of the issue, it may not be able to address it properly. If it is online, listen to the conversation; find the source of the attack among other vital actions. While you are actively listening, you can now know which angle will work.
4. Be humble to discern the point: sometimes pride colors our perception about the whole issue. Pride may not allow the brand’s driver to see the points in the other parties’ argument. Be humble to see the facts in the other person’s argument and be humble to use the right words when there is a need to response. It will always be easy to handle if the brand already has a brand community which can support the brand’s cause but if not the brand should not hesitate to express its own point of view.
5. Act: having listened, then act on the veracity of the attack. Find the source and the major influencers and express brand’s points of view to them as they may help to douse the tension earlier than brand’s effort. For those who live in Nigeria, some would have noticed the use of this strategy by a leading Governor in the South West region whose state is the smallest in landmass but highly populated with all shades of people who daily throng to the state.
6. Be honest: Be honest enough to accept guilt when you know your brand is. Find lasting solution to the cause of the attack and carry on