When something goes wrong, big companies are often forced onto the mainstream media in order to explain themselves. With any luck they express their profound regret, explain the problem and then detail exactly what they are going to do about it.
But why wait until trouble hits? Surely it’s better to get your protection in place first?
This is where organisations which use social media have a huge advantage. They have communications channels open, which means they can talk directly to their customers the minute a problem arises; what’s more they have a bank of goodwill to draw on.
In effect they have a Social Media Shield which can be extremely effective in fending off the worst fall-out from a pr disaster.
The concept is outlined beautifully in this post from Social Media Today which ties together Social Media and another buzz concept Corporate Social Responsibility. You no longer have to wait for the media to come to you to find out how you’ve made the world a better place, you just do it yourself via your blog, Facebook and Twitter.
Telling people openly and honestly what you are doing builds a community of supporters who will be your advocates in times of trouble.
So if you are thinking about training your employees on how to trouble shoot, face the media and deal with disasters, (always a very good idea,) do also think about training them to use Social Media as well.