#Crisis Management in the Digital Age

Last Monday, Wayne State PRSSA had the honor of hosting a presentation by our Professional Adviser Mary Henige. Mary is not only a Wayne State University alum, but she has served as the university’s PRSSA Chapter, professional adviser for 18 years. (To learn more about Mary, check out the guest blog she did for us here!)

Mary’s presentation was all about using social media to avert a crisis while offering plenty of advice to social media users. Here are a few key notes from Mary’s presentation below:

  • “You need to monitor your company, brands and leaders—either formally or informally.” Monitoring your company, brand, etc., helps to identify potential problems and crises early on; and gives you time to address the story before it turns into a real crisis.

“Don’t assume the issue will go away without a response.”

  • “Correct inaccurate information before it spreads”  When a potential problem arises, don’t wait to take action. Mary says it’s best to interact with your audience before problems spiral completely out of control. She said it is ok to acknowledge and respond to the detractors (things that could take away from your company’s image); and tell them that you don’t know the answer to their problem/question and that you will get back to them.

“In wood work it’s measure twice and cut once, well for me, it’s proofread, check twice, then tweet, then post.”

  • “Be sure to be truthful and transparent—nothing is hidden in this web world that won’t be found out.”  Mary mentioned a speedy response is a healthy response. Taking too long to respond to a crisis problem may not only weaken your case with the public, but really damage your company’s image. Trying to hide things from your audience will make them lose trust in you ( and your product/service) once they discover the truth.

“Just because you’re not listening doesn’t mean people aren’t talking”


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