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Miss the second trend in Digital Crisis Management? Check it out here.

A crisis hits. You know exactly what to do; you’ve got this covered. Your team addresses the situation on the website, begins to draft a media statement and creates canned responses for social media. Now you wait anxiously for everything to blow over, and return to normalcy. In this day and age, that style of crisis response and management does not work anymore.

Communicating solely through scripted interactions doesn’t satisfy today’s consumers. One-way messaging no longer works in a world where people crave and demand dialogue. You must set up a nimble system for online listening and engagement, in order to be responsive to a brand’s most precious assets –customers.  Fortunately, technology prevails offering a variety of listening tools that position brand managers and crisis practitioners in a great spot to monitor, analyze and jump in conversations that are good or bad. Nuvi, Sprout Social, Meltwater and Hootsuite are services that provide these services at varying levels.

Having keywords related to the crisis entered in these programs can help you prioritize and identify posts that need immediate attention. Designating specific times and assigning team members to monitor the social listening results are excellent ways to ensure no mentions of the situation go unmissed. Answering questions, correcting false information and showing action translates into brand transparency, which is also in high demand from consumers.

Another key in crisis is to plan ahead. Prior to, buildings relationships with your online community should be an ongoing effort. After all, inviting customers into a conversation is the most effective way to encourage authentic and deeper connections. Those very people that engage with your brand during happy times may become third-party (unofficial) brand advocates, who will support your brand when calamity hits.

Tune in next week for the fourth tip in digital crisis management. Until then, let us know how your company is dealing with consumers’ need for authentic dialogue. Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG and share your tips.

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