10 June 2014 0 Comments

5 best approaches you can adopt during online crisis

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps 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) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


Crisis communication, communication strategy, how to handle online crisis, managing online crisis, Social media crisis strategy, best approaches to online crisis communication, Digital communication crisis managementCrisis, whether online or offline, has a major impact on the wellbeing of the organization. Depending on the degree, it has capacity to completely destroy the organization or shakes the fabrics of its existence to a certain degree. As communication team, sometimes it is a time many team members use to trade blame and throw tantrums. To fully address any crisis, we need the right frame of mind. With its capacity to bring in confusion and associated negative emotions, it is proper for communication team to cool down their nerves so they can properly channel energy.

We know this may not be easy especially if it is online crisis with great potential for massive destruction of global image  and its attendant requirement for huge sum of money to clean the mess created online. Even at that, without the right frame of mind, nothing worthwhile will be achieved. In most cases, with wrong and confused mind, communication team can make some silly mistakes. So today, we will just examine the best approach to maintain during crisis in order to get better result.

First, assess and accept reality: there is no need to trade blame when it happens. Quickly do your assessment, conduct initial impact level. With this, you can adequately understand and appreciate the reality of the crisis.

Never make it personal: one of the things negative emotions will supply is to see the issue as personal. Even if you know the source and the individual or group has been an avowed enemy, never take corporate crisis as personal. It is not always about individual but business. The other party may feel his/her own interest is being threatened and feel the best way to handle issue is to ignite a crisis for you.

Not every option is good: with your impact assessment, you need to come up fast with best option. Sometimes it may mean you have to ignore the source if it does not have great potential to cause harm. Sometimes also, it is all about pushing your entire war arsenal forward. In everything you do, make sure the best strategic option is the one you are pushing.

Think or Sleep on It: When we sleep on something we may discover there is no need for blood shedding/f raising a finger. The impact may not be that much and the action require also may not be extensive. But if we act out of the present negative feelings, there is a tendency to over blow stuff.

5. Do not try to win every war: Compromise and opinion sharing may be the best way in handling some online crises. Reach out to the source and find out why the source is overheating the systems. Occasional the fire is easy to quench through that source. For instance some hackers may be seeking attention and not primarily out to destroy you. You must also learn when to discontinue or to say sorry to build better relationship in the future.

Leave the scene of the crisis clean: from the above, the purpose of every crisis must not be to close the door on the opponent or to burn every tread of wool that binds you. Be civil, think relationship instead of enemy.

Do you have a case study of how you have handled a crisis correctly? Please share.

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