How to Manage Crisis Communications

February 13, 2017 / by Jarkko Jokirinta Jarkko Jokirinta


Criticism and other negative expressions can be very harmful for your brand. No brand is ever safe from negative publicity online. 

The key to successfully maintaining your brand reputation is in how quickly you respond to such negative "attacks" on social media. How should you manage crisis situation when negative "attacks" hit you?

Let's look at an example to make it easier to imagine the situation. 

We tracked and analyzed the social media conversations around a big publicly listed company. The company is a well-known consumer brand. They get a lot of attention on social media, which in turn also means plenty of messages and posts related to the brand. The company also uses commonly used terms as brand and product names, which makes it hard to keep track of the conversation. Because of the vast amount of daily conversation related to its brand, the company wanted to know what exactly was being discussed on social media and which ones were relevant and critical to them.

We were able to accurately analyze all the relevant conversations regarding the company brand, and provide them with suggestions related to their marketing communications activities. Through our analysis, we managed to:

  • Identify important messages from influencers who were discussing the brand
  • Catch important negative news and user experiences related to the brand
  • Find out what are the triggers behind peaks in conversations
  • Send out real-time alerts related to competitor analysis and specific topics that were known to be disposed to criticism

How to manage crisis communications in real-time? 

While analyzing and tracking the above mentioned brand, we found a peak in conversation with negative comments, just when the brand had come out with a new series of product. We provided them with a suggestion on how they can manage their crisis communications.

  1. Find and react on conversations as quickly as you can, real-time. 
  2. Compare the sentiment of the press vs. the real, customer-generated conversations.  Their sentiment is often different, so your strategy in managing crisis communications towards the press vs. customers must be different. 
  3. Analyze the importance of detected "crises". Exclude all irrelevant data and noise from your data analysis so that you get true data of what is being said about your brand. 
  4. Accurately follow how long the crises continue to drive conversation, as well as how fast the conversation sentiment regarding the brand heals.
  5. Analyze images and videos that are being posted about the brand, as well as any ironic or sarcastic messages that computer algorhythms are not able to comprehend. 

Added bonus in tracking conversations real-time: Catch leads/people who are writing about negative experiences of your competitng brands. This gives you an ample opportunity for your sales team to sell your own products just when people are experiencing negative sentiment about your competing brands!


  • Whenever there's a peak in conversation (whether it's positive or negative), use reliable and relevant data to identify the event and the triggers behind it.
  • Understand why the events and conversations happen and who are leading these conversations. Is it your customers or just someone who wants to show off on social media? For example "news sites" could drive traffic to their site by sharing articles that are harmful for the brand perspective.
  • If there are false rumours going on related to your brand - respond in real time in order to avoid unwanted hazzle.
  • Focus on and follow your audience and what they really say about your brand - they're usually being honest and they may not share the same views as the press.
  • Don't forget about the analysis of pictures and videos that people post related to your brand!

If your brand needs help in finding out what's really going on in social media and to manage crisis communications, we can provide you with true social insights for you to get a clearer picture of your brand image. 

Contact Us! 

Tags: Brands, Marketing, Social Analytics, Social Media, Social Media Consultation, Brand Insight, Brand Management, Communication, Crisis Management, Big Data, Sentiment Analysis, Social Listening, Brand Visibility Metrics, Trend Tracking, Competitor Benchmarking, Audience Response, Social Media Alerts, Landscape Tracking, Social Media Monitoring, Brand Health Index

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