Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, sometimes with prior warnings, but in most cases no warning or advance indicators appear. The COVID 19 pandemic proved to many firms that they should invest both time and money into planning for disruptions of any kind. 2020 proved that we need plans and training to deal with natural events, economic turmoil and strained supply chains. As we continue to adapt to the “new normal” business owners and senior managers have come to realize the importance of the role of social media can play in business recovery and should become a key element of business continuity planning.
The Good: corporate social media platforms can be very helpful during a crisis, when internal communication fails popular social media platforms can allow communication with employees quickly and efficiently and allow for the ability to relay information and directions in real time, it can also allow HR/ Safety to privately obtain information from employees regarding their safety and well-being. An effective social media will detail exactly how corporate profiles will communicate with the workforce including which social media accounts can look to for direction. A simple social media update can save time a company time and trouble and offer a sense of order and control when crisis prompts so much uncertainty.
The Bad: when a crisis does occur, social media can fuel speculation and rumors, sometimes doing more harm than good. Crisis response can be hampered by social media, especially when workers are without explicit social media guidelines. Many platforms can perpetuate rumors and potentially spread false information that leads to more complications. Employees, along with the general public are quick to react in events of panic and fear, posting incorrect information online that could ultimately harm both the workforce and the general public. Social media should not be the grounds for employee journalism in a corporate crisis. Proper policies must be in place that reflect everyone’s role and their social media use during a crisis and indicate what should and should not be posted on-line during an adverse event.
The Ugly: Today, a video of a job site, workplace or person flaunting public health measures can be posted and viewed by millions in a matter of minutes, the embarrassment and public scrutiny from such bad press can seriously harm a firms recovery efforts and bring negative public shaming. Implementing, enforcing, educating everyone about proper social media use can prevent public relations issues from damaging your firm’s reputation.
To learn more and for assistance preparing and implementing a social media policy appropriate for your workplace, contact your RMG Consultant, or any member of the RMG team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll respond promptly.