Almost every brand goes through a phase when its reputation is at stake. While it takes years to garner goodwill and create a strong reputation, a single negative comment or review gone viral can destroy any brand’s image.
Fortunately, we live in times when brands prefer to be prepared to handle a crisis in advance than deal with a difficult aftermath. Of course, they cannot be prepared for everything, as some matters remain unforeseen.
Media monitoring can help by making a crisis more manageable and offer valuable insight, which can be used to prepare better for the next time.
Prepare to navigate a crisis
When a crisis strikes, it is crucial to respond to it as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the brand’s reputation. This has become extremely tricky, though, as millions of internet users can make a matter viral in minutes.
An example of this is last year’s United Airlines incident where a staffer was filmed dragging a passenger off the plane. Needless to say, the airline received tremendous backlash from all over the internet, with consumers threatening to boycott the airline and lawmakers demanding legal action.
Nice to know “re-accomodate” on United now means “drag you violently out of your seat.”
— Meg (@girlnthetardis) April 10, 2017
It is therefore important to stay one step ahead from the start. Monitoring social and traditional media constantly even before a crisis arises can help. Additionally, keeping tabs on media during and after a crisis is also recommended.
Brands can use media monitoring to prepare to navigate a crisis with the following three-step strategy.
Analyze past crises. With the help of media monitoring, evaluate all past crises that the brand, its competitors, or other organizations have endured. The insights gathered can generate some tried-and-tested tactics that worked in curtailing the damage and can be repeated in similar situations.
While every crisis is different and a solution cannot be preplanned entirely, media monitoring patterns can be predicted, crisis management plans can be developed, and responses can be created before the crisis goes viral and spirals out of control.
Early detection. The early discovery of a budding crisis can be of immense help to PR practitioners as it can go a long way in containing the problem. It’s critical to take the proverbial bull by its horns before the issue gets out of hand and lessen its impact.
Setting up simple media monitoring alerts can enable brands to stay on top of the news or posts coming out about them. This way brands can know exactly where they are mentioned and can collect the necessary information to come up with a suitable reply.
Keep an eye on news, post-crisis. Even after the crisis has been mitigated, brands will do well to continue media monitoring initiatives to figure out if the controversy has ended and if audiences are looking at their brand positively after all their effort.
Media monitoring gives the brand information on the crisis’ aftermath. It provides consensus on its public image, with the insights garnered helping to decide if the situation should be handled similarly or differently the next time.
Set alerts for media monitoring
Every crisis management plan should include media monitoring alerts to watch for negative stories. When alerts are set specifically for intercepting controversies in the making, the PR team can ensure the brand responds to criticism and negative comments or news before they spread like wildfire.
Social media is a commonly used platform by disgruntled customers to vent against brands that have disappointed them. This is why mentions on social media need to be tracked continually.
Catch brand mentions. Bring specificity to alerts by adding names, phrases, and the required, optional, and negative keywords. Doing so will make it easy to filter out unnecessary brand mentions that have nothing to do with the brand’s crisis management initiatives.
With the help of a tool like Cision, automated sentiment analysis to capture negative mentions across media platforms can also be employed.
Craft replies. Social media is a commonly used platform by disgruntled customers to vent against brands that have disappointed them. This is why mentions on social media need to be tracked continually.
Employing social media listening tools makes perfect sense because they make complainers easy to track and respond to from a single point of contact. Hence, they enable quick crisis communication, which is the entire point of it all.
Learn and move on. Once the flames of the crisis have been doused and life has seemingly gone back to normal, take stock of everything that impacted the brand’s reputation. Get reports ready regarding the impact of the crisis by taking a look at the hard numbers.
The damage to the brand may be far greater than originally thought, requiring more action. The PR team’s media monitoring efforts provide the opportunity to look at the stored data anytime it requires a revisit.
Whether the crisis is big or small, businesses and PR practitioners know that any brand’s image matters to customers. News is created and can spread faster than ever now, and has taken on a more conversational style. It is crucial to track and manage these conversations to keep them favorable. Media monitoring is the best means for brands and PR professionals to stay on top of everything that matters in the business world.
Download Cision’s free Ultimate Media Monitoring Buyer’s Guide for more information.