Archive for Crisis Communications – Page 2

Should Booz Allen Use Social Media in Managing its Crisis?

As you’ve no doubt read, the individual who admittedly leaked government secrets about the National Security Agency’s data-collecting programs was an employee of consulting firm Booz Allen. To make matters worse, this flash appeared late Monday afternoon, June 10th, for the Twitter hashtag @boozallen.

Booz Allen N.S.A. documents leak 90,000 military files stolen

The link led to a story in Forbes magazine that said “anonymous hackers penetrated a server belonging to the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and released what it claims Read More→

Why Every Company Needs an Accurate Social Media Policy

"Social Media Policy"In the past week, news flew about employee comments on social media. In two cases, it was pretty obvious the employees stepped over the line because they posted particularly offensive comments on their company’s official Twitter account.

In another case, a company fired an employee after it won its case before The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) citing what it considered to be an employee’s inappropriate comment on Facebook.

Communicating Your Policy

Does your company have a social media policy that has been communicated and explained to all employees? Do your employees understand it so that your company can avoid embarrassment over the posting of inappropriate content?

Having a policy doesn’t guarantee that the policy is accurate. The NLRB issued a report in May that focused on seven social media policies governing employees’ use of social media.

In six out of seven cases the NLRB found the employer social media policies to be unlawful. Here is the NLRB Social Media Report that describes the NLRB’s decisions in detail. 

Where Employees Went Wrong

Here are the posts on corporate Twitter accounts that drew the media likes flies to honey:

Kitchen Aid. After the first Presidential debate, a KitchenAid employee posted this on the company’s Twitter handle: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! ‘She died 3 days b4 he became president.” It was meant to go out on the employee’s personal Twitter handle. It drew many angry responses on Twitter.

The company deleted it and sent out this tweet:

KitchenAid apology tweet

StubHub. You can imagine StubHub’s embarrassment and anger at this employee’s tweet: “Thank fuck it’s Friday! Can’t wait to get out of this stubsucking hell hole.”

The company removed this post and tweeted:

StubHub twitter apology

Drafting Your Company’s Policy

The first step is to draft a social media policy if you don’t have one already. Some companies avoid this because they are afraid that social media is changing so rapidly that the policy won’t cover every contingency. But that just leaves them wide open to employees misuse of social media because they don’t know what’s allowed or not allowed.

Kyle-Beth Hilfer, Esq., an attorney specializing in social media, wrote a post on this topic that offers some excellent advice: Drafting Social Media Policies to Minimize Legal Risk of an NLRB Complaint.

The website Social Media Governance contains 217 corporate social media policies, and the list keeps growing. You can peruse that list for social media policy best practices.

Let Your Employees Socialize

Many companies forbid their employees from engaging in any social media, either for the company or their own personal accounts. This can be counterproductive. First, the company is at a disadvantage with their competitors who are successfully engaging their employees as brand ambassadors on social media.

Secondly, the company loses control over content that employees are posting to social media accounts that do not include their names.

It all comes down to trusting your employees to say and do the right things on social media and 99% of the time they will. Sure, there are exceptions like the KitchenAid and StubHub brouhahas. That’s why they make news.

Employees want to grow in their jobs and they want their companies to be successful. Working together, companies and employees can use the might of social media to create a win-win for both sides.

Does your company have a social media policy? Is it working? If you don’t have a policy, why not?

Coca-Cola Tampers With its Brand Again — in a Good Cause

Coke has done it again – tampered with its brand by changing the color of it famous red cans to white for a holiday promotion with the World Wildlife Fund.

The promotion was to raise funds to bring awareness to the plight of polar bears, an endangered species. It caused a huge kerfuffle among consumers.

Many confused the holiday Coke can with the silver Diet Coke can — horrors. Coke was forced to recall more than a billion of the white cans and restock their shelves with the familiar red ones. Read More→

Ben Franklin Was Full of Ideas – So Are Your Employees

"Personally, I'm glad he invented bifocals"

Personally, I'm glad he invented bifocals

[tweetmeme]The creative director from an agency I worked for used to say, “There are no little ideas or big ideas, only powerful ideas.” I wrote in a post last week that the Journal Register Company was saved from extinction by powerful ideas – from its own employees.

Key was that each team member of the IdeaLab had a specific assignment. Telling someone to “make the business better” is too fuzzy. While some tasks may seem small (but powerful), they all added up to a plan that saved the company. Now that’s real power – in the hands of the new community of employees that includes the CEO.

Here is the link to The Ben Franklin Project – a Bold New Experiment that lists the discrete task of each employee. No doubt more have been added since that post.

Does your company have a similar kind of program? Would love if you shared how it works by commenting below.