After months of a global pandemic, uncertainty and protests have changed the meaning of crisis communication. Some experts in the field are going even as far as to say that everyone is a crisis communicator these days.
With the insights of Zignal Labs, here is what all this means for the communications industry and what steps to take in this uncertainty of 2021.
How has crisis communications and crisis response changed in 2020?
This past year has altered the way we look at crisis communications and responses. More brands and companies are dealing with multiple overlapping issues on a global scale and significantly more data is now being created/exchanged online.
On top of all this we have to be careful to spot misinformation when it occurs as there are so many different news channels and outlets. Considering how social platforms can spread misinformation so quickly and across so many people this is no small task. The information received should be as accurate as possible.
1.Biggest Threats to Brand Reputation
Without a doubt the biggest culprit right now affecting a brands reputation is definitely misinformation. This can take root and spread many false narratives which become hard to correct. If a company is labeled incorrectly as not practicing health and safety regulations, social distancing or are in support of unethical business practices, when that information is inaccurate, conscientious brands lose valuable customers.
2.Things Brands Get Wrong About Crisis Communication
Having a clear strategy to monitor a crisis and consumer response in real time is very important with the spread of more information about the virus. Having a clear organizational response allows for a rapid response to a crisis situation.
Brands need to take control of the narrative that is spreading before it takes hold and gets across social platforms. This spread of miscommunication can cause problems in brand reputation, businesses cannot afford to wait until misinformation hits mainstream media, at that point it will have taken root causing a bigger problem or crisis for the brand.
3.Points to Monitor for Brand Reputation
Three key items to consider for how an issue or narrative may impact your brand:
- Veracity: Is the narrative based on truth or falsehood?
- Velocity: How quickly is the information spreading?
- Sentiment: Is it helpful or damaging to your brand?
4.Will This Crisis Become Easier in 2021? Brands Dealing With Crisis
Crisis communication has become extremely challenging over the past year and may become more difficult in 2021. The multiple overlapping issues that make it hard are: COVID-19, climate change, social justice and the presidential election. These problems won’t just go away either. Brands will also be working with issues like vaccinations, employees returning to work, policy issues and many other issues that can arise over time.
All the misinformation and miscommunication surrounding this crisis will continue. We need to be vigilant about focusing on truth and focus on facts. Focusing on truth, facts and general knowledge can help promote brands that are struggling in this unprecedented time of crisis.
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