The last few weeks/months have seen quite a few social media crises. From Eurostar to more recently Vodafone and Toyota. As those who are involved in social media comms will know, while a crisis hits where it ends up is anyone’s guess.
With regards to the Toyota crisis, there has been an interesting exchange on Twitter between the Michael Valvo UK PR manager for Toyota and Danny Rogers, editor of PR Week UK about an article on how the Japanese carmaker has responded.
For me the most interesting part is Michael’s response on priorities in getting facts and assurances to customers ahead of responding to a press request.
I completely agree with the approach here however I wonder how many conversations are going on in board rooms about which channel takes priority when the ‘excrement’ hits the fan particularly amongst executives who view social media as something for the kids.
Something like this perhaps?
Operations: Boss, we’ve got a problem. We’ve screwed up a batch of widgets and will have to recall them.
Finance: Bugger. How much will it cost?
HR: Do we need to fire anyone for it?
Sales: Can we shift them anyway at a knock down price?
Customer service: How many complaints are we going to get?
PR: We’ll need a statement for the press. Should we set up a twitter channel and Facebook page to keep anyone interested in the loop?
All (except PR): Ha ha ha!!!
[Plug: My colleagues, Morgan McLintic and Lucy Allen will be running a free webinar this Friday (February 12) on crisis management in a social media setting. Click here to register]