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Be Quick But Don’t Hurry in a Social Media Crisis

Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden won a record ten national championships. Those familiar with his coaching style remember his signature mantra, “be quick but don’t hurry.” Wooden’s contention is that hurry is an emotional state that breeds bad decisions, but quickness is a learned response skill propelled by physical and mental training.

In crisis, that mantra holds true as well. And in 2013, we will see this strategy rise to the top of organization to-do lists everywhere. Recently, Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross listed social media reputation as one of the most important reputation trends for 2013. Couple that with these two pieces of information:

  • In a recent piece from Mission Mode on how reputation will affect social media crises in 2013, this data piece from a new survey  analyzing reputation crises across the stock market stood out: “Our research shows that directors typically benefit from a window of 24 to 48 hours, during which financial market reaction to news of a major reputational crisis will be relatively restrained. It’s often their last chance to take quick and decisive action before financial news bulletins take centre stage.”
  • Zeno recently released some data from research they did on social media readiness. One of the data points that stood out was the fact that only 43% of B2B executives and 63% of B2C executives believe their company could respond to a social media crisis within 24 hours.

How can organizations be ready? How do you develop quickness for a social media crisis? At CKSyme.org, we believe it is two-fold:

  1. Develop reputation and advocacy strategies that can help prevent a negative event. This is your first line of defense. Using social and traditional media to develop brand advocates builds a shield. It is not a magic pill—it is just a smart business tactic. Advocacy strategies not only build reputation, they also sell widgets.
  2. Have a fluid and flexible response plan built on monitoring. Any response plan that is not built on year-round monitoring of traditional and social media monitoring is just plain incomplete.  Too many response plans are reactive, not proactive. Make sure yours is the latter.

So how would you classify your digital readiness? Are you going to hurry, or are you training to be quick?