Developing Solutions to Avoid a Media Crisis

One of the major mistakes a business can make today is not taking a positive approach with customer dissatisfaction when it comes to their brands. It only takes one disgruntled customer to post a negative review on Facebook or Tweet a negative comment about your brand to unleash thousands of other negative feedback about your company. This type of negative feedback has a lingering effect on your brand. 

A recent study done by Burson-Marsteller found that 50% of the companies they surveyed had already experienced a media crisis from a disgruntled customer. Furthermore, eighty percent of the companies surveyed agreed that a social media crisis would create a tangible business risk for their brands. A different study conducted by Altimeter showed that three-quarters of social media crises could have been avoided or had less impact on the brand if the companies had a strategic plan to address these issues. 

Unfortunately, very few companies try to work with disgruntled customers before they unleash their dissatisfaction about the brand on the social web. It is important that all business leaders understand the harm a media crisis can have on their brands and how they can limit the spread of negative publicity on the social web. 

How can a social media crisis harm your brand? 

It is difficult enough for a company to deal with negative online comments about their brands. But the effects of a social media crisis can spread quickly and have more negative effect on a brand. The Burson-Marsteller survey identified three major problems businesses experienced follow a media crisis.

  1. Loss of Revenue: Thirty-two percent of companies encountered a major drop in company revenues that resulted in 24% of these companies having to layoff or cutback their employees.
  2. Damaged Brand Reputation: After a major media crisis 18% of the companies surveyed experienced their brand publicly tarnished.
  3. Continued Online Dissatisfaction: One in ten companies experienced ongoing media scrutiny that leads to other media crisis for their brands. 

One of the best ways for any company to handle a media crisis is to admit that one can happen at anytime. Therefore, your company needs to have a proactive mitigation strategy plan in effect to handle these crises. This will help control the negative impact on your brand and limit the negative feedback from other customers. To avoid negative feedback and a media crisis your company needs to have the following mitigation best practice policies in effect.

  1. Prepare and implement a media crisis plan. To be prepared for a media crisis you need to evaluate different multiple social media crisis scenarios. This helps your team leaders develop your proactive mitigation strategies and helps to monitor social media proactive issues.
  2. Your company must continue to analyze customer feedback in real-time to prevent a crisis. By collecting survey data from your customers and analyzing this data in real-time you can identify an unhappy customer. This allows your company to follow-up with these customers, and prevents a media crisis and negative feedback about your company.
  3. Your company needs to use multi layered follow-up with your customers. If a customer has a negative experience with your company, it will take multiple positive experiences to make up for this problem. Therefore, your company needs to plan for three to five reassuring, positive contacts with the customer to help this person overcome their skepticism about your company. Your company needs to establish one centralized contact system that will manage all of your disgruntled customers. This centralized point needs to include emails, phone conversations, social media and other channels.

By implementing these steps in your company you can prevent a media crisis. Customers really appreciate it when a brand can go out of their way to address their concerns. This helps your company to turn an unhappy customer into an advocate for your company.


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Sarah Johnston

About Sarah Johnston

Sarah loves working on website design and teaching companies how to improve their SEO. Sarah has been working in the computer industry for the past 12 years.