10 June 2013 0 Comments

Best ways to handle Social media communication crisis: CBN’s Governor (Sanusi Lamido) case study

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


sanusi lamido, CBN, CBN Governor, CBN Image, Social media crisis, Social Media communication crisis, Online communication crisis, Online image management, Image monitoring, Online Attitude,Once a while in life we run into trouble not because we are looking for trouble but because troubles and challenges are co-travellers in the journey of life. No matter how hard we try, some will misconstrue brand’s intention and pick a hole in it. In certain instances, some issues may be blown out of proportion. Brand’s critics, competitors will never sleep. For those who follow trends in this clime, there is a ongoing online communication crisis within the cyberspace around our highly intelligent and vocal Central Bank of Nigeria Governor- Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. Our intention is not to relive the case but to identify the potential the crisis may cause to his image and that of the exalted office, institution he represents. We are of the opinion his/Corporate image Managers have been not up and doing in such a huge allegation which properly may not be true but has huge potential to cause bad online image. We stand to be corrected.

We believe Central Bank of Nigeria Corporate Communication department could have considered the following steps.

Identify the source, get a top management voice: Most crises have a major source. Get a top management to make a strong statement and distribute through right channel especially make sure you use the channel the source of the crisis used. Central Bank of Nigeria Corporate communication department can be rated high here.

Gather the community strength: Time of crisis is not a time to start building your online communities. If you are well informed, you should have built a structured and highly engaged community in your day to day interaction. When crisis shows up gather the community spirit. Your lone voice may not quench the fire on time.

Make sure your social media platforms are correctly identified: in many cases, some mischievous individuals will create fake social media platforms that will be presumed to be speaking for you. Be sure you properly communicate your brand’s social media handle names and use them to the maximum during this time.

Tell faithful allies, online commanders and ask for their support: Effective Social media communication process should have solid relationship with some noted online commanders/influencers. It will not be a bad idea to call for briefings with these online influencers so they can have better understanding of the whole issue. Never forget their voices carry weigh. A good example is a popular telecommunication firm which uses a famous political blogger to spread news about its Sporting activities.

Please do not cover up: We are in an age where nothing is hidden. Say the truth even if it hurts. While there may be a degree of diplomacy, be factual as much as possible.

Post ongoing and relevant information when available: In regular media approach there is what we call press briefings and press conferences. Press conferences are often one off, while press briefing is an ingoing thing as you have relevant and highly important information that can help. One off information post will give room for speculations and rumour mongers to fill the space for you. Time of crisis is a time when all your social media arsenals need to be up and doing. This is in no way suggesting that all your social media team members should speaking with many tongues. The head of the units must be up and doing and remain at alert directing all the social communication.

Keep monitoring the platforms: in time of crisis we often realise our shortcomings or readiness. If we already have all the tools required it will be opened to all. Many invest in radian6 for this or those who can have a social command centre where tested professionals are at hand. Depending on the size of the organization as well as magnitude of the crisis, many have multi-lingua professionals who monitor what is being said in different parts of the world. A multi-national or global organization must not only use professionals who speak English alone. Other major language speakers will not keep quiet especially if crisis affect them more.

Measure effectiveness of your approach: In crisis, sometimes tension levels varied. Management often desire a quick fix it. There is need for ongoing measurement as well as final measurement at the end of the crisis. He who learns from his mistakes is not a fool. No matter how appropriate the strategy had been, there is always a way to do it better.

What do you think Central Bank of Nigeria’s communication team should have done differently?

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