A little birdie told me: Issues management at the BBC

May 27, 2014 by Alex Johnson

When it comes to online reputation management there is no denying the positive power of social media during a crisis.

But does your crisis management planning take account of its flip side where careless use by employees can see it become the core of the crisis itself?  After all where else does an employee get the opportunity to talk to a global audience without censor?

The BBC is the latest in a long line of organisations to find itself tasked with handling the fallout of an ill-timed and worded employee tweet.

Social media policy

The good news is it had a social media policy in place – so they get a tick for succeeding in this bit of online reputation management.  They also swiftly reminded employees of its existence after the incident.

What we don’t know is how they embedded the policy before the infamous tweet.  Briefing employees on a policy is one thing but making it live and breathe is something very different.

Testing your social media response

A social media simulation is a truly effective and (I am sure most participants would agree) a slightly scary way of doing just this.  It provides a safe and secure opportunity for employees to engage with social media while a challenging scenario unfolds.  The experience results in employees who are confident communicating online in a way that upholds the values of the organisation they work for.

What it doesn’t do is strip away every ounce of individuality.  Good news as far as I am concerned because I would hate to see an online world where people stop sharing videos of sneezing pandas or slightly crazy cats!  That last one gets me every time…..

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