While classic principles of conflict management, issues management and crisis management still hold, social media have increased options for detection, prevention, response and communication. Social media must be used with a clear understanding of their role in the communication process.

  • Respond quickly and appropriately to challenges on social media to prevent issues from becoming crises.
  • Remember, the customer may not always be right.
  • Monitor social media to uncover issues sooner and give you more options for dealing with the situation.
  • Ensure your communication plan matches the crisis response action plan, even if the response plan was developed outside of the public relations department.
  • Use your social media accounts to correct rumors and repost corrections made by others.
  • Be careful of issuing apologies or applying ingratiation strategies on social media unless they are clearly sincere and authentic; otherwise, you may risk a boomerang effect.
  • Make yourself and your organization ‘influential social media creators,’ by setting up and maintaining crisis-specific social media accounts.