Nine Tips To Develop A Social Media Crisis Strategy
By Cynthia Cradduck
It’s clear that business owners no longer can ignore the impact and significance of integrating social media into their overall marketing plan. A great deal of thought is devoted to choosing which channels to use, creating a cohesive voice and crafting creative content.
Equal attention should be given to planning for social media crises that can happen quickly and escalate even more quickly.
Don’t worry, though. The following nine-step guide will help you prepare for and survive a social media crisis of any kind.
Before a Crisis
1. Establish a social media crisis team.
Not everyone in your business needs to be part of this group, but everyone who’s included should have a defined role. Who will be responsible for monitoring online for potential crises? Who will be the spokesperson if things do go awry? Who will be responsible for responding to online comments? All of these roles must be filled with individuals who know what defines a crisis and how to handle it.
2. Define what constitutes a social media crisis for your business.
Larger corporations may ignore a few hundred complaints, but those complaints could be devastating for small businesses. When social media chatter begins to have a negative effect on your services or products, something must be done.
3. Identify your key message and create communication guidelines.
Because crises are unpredictable, your brand’s central message will need to be defined when you understand the root issue of what’s happening. To be prepared, your entire team should understand the company’s values and missions. These should guide whatever response the crisis calls for. It is important to establish guidelines for relaying all necessary information to your employees, stakeholders and the public.
Knowing who needs to know what, using which platforms, will allow you to respond quickly when fire strikes.
4. Monitor. Monitor. Monitor.
You’ll never catch a crisis soon enough if you’re not constantly monitoring online for negative messages circulating about your company. Decide which tools you will use to do this and who’s responsible. “Social Mention” is a great resource to keep an eye on your company and/or your clients in the social media sphere.
During a Crisis
5. Take control.
Pause your scheduled posts. After you ensure no outgoing posts will be published for the moment to any of your pages, you should follow by informing your team of the situation and acknowledging the problem publicly. Remember to address the issue on your website as well.
6. Determine the Key Message.
Assessing the situation and developing a key message that is understood by everyone on your team is critical. This should be a strategic message that will guide the rest of the crisis. Using appropriate words to describe the situation effectively is a must, and everyone should agree to relay this message to anyone who might ask. “No answer” is not sufficient.
7. Respond to the Public.
Don’t ignore the situation or members of the public who are upset. Ask them to contact you privately by offering an email address or a number they can call. This tells everyone who is looking at these messages that your brand truly cares. Continue to monitor the messaging and continue to work your plan. This is when it’s important to remember you can weather the storm.
After a Crisis
8. Assess the impact.
Evaluate your company’s status. Your social monitoring tool will indicate the overall sentiment about your company and its standing on social media. Did the crisis result in tangible setbacks? Take time to study the damage that has been done.
9. Reflect and prepare.
Take a minute to reflect and decide what went well and what parts of your crisis plan need improvement. And remember that online content lives forever and may resurface later.
It’s worth remembering, too, that no one is exempt. Even if your social channels have a small following and a social media crisis seems unlikely, a plan to guide you through potential chaos should be in place at all times.
I think we all can agree that people sometimes get a little crazy online.
Good luck out there.
Cynthia Cradduck is the Junior Partner at Carriage Trade Public Relations and Cecilia Russo Marketing, where she oversees business development, manages the Visibility Team, and coordinates reputation management strategies for clients, media relations and online SEO-PR.
Trinity Worship and Praise Ministries Breaks Ground on New Sanctuary
(SAVANNAH, GA) Trinity Worship and Praise Ministries broke ground on a new sanctuary on the existing church campus at 12532 White Bluff Road.
“The entire congregation shares a great excitement about this next step in our ministry, and my wife, Shirley, and I were excited to prayerfully begin construction of a building we hope will be a blessing to this church and our community,” said Pastor Larry Pounds.
The Dewitt Tilton Group is the contractor for the project, which will build a new 200-person capacity sanctuary for the church. The 4,500-square-foot structure will feature a stage, a vaulted ceiling, restrooms, private office for the pastor, three additional offices and a future baptismal location. The new building will share the church campus with the existing church and other support buildings.
Construction is expected to be complete sometime in December 2019.
“At the Dewitt Tilton Group, we construct a wide variety of buildings for a wide range of clients,” said Chris Tilton, one of two principals at the Dewitt Tilton Group. “But there’s always an extra bit of pride associated with working on a church, knowing how much it will impact so many lives once it is completed.”
MORE INFORMATION ON DEWITT TILTON GROUP
The Dewitt Tilton Group, a premier construction firm located in Savannah, Ga., specializes in commercial construction. The principals, Andrew Dewitt and Chris Tilton, have over 50 years of combined experience in the local construction industry. The firm manages every aspect of a commercial project from pre-construction to the final walk through. Known for using only highly reputable contractors, the Dewitt Tilton Group brings to the table design, engineering and construction capabilities which guarantees a smooth construction process for each client. The firm is located at 2807-A Roger Lacey Avenue, Savannah, GA 31404. For more information or to contact the Dewitt Tilton Group, please call 912.777.3404 or visit www.dewitttiltongroup.com
Savannah Attorney Charles Bowen to Discuss Film Industry at Buy Local Savannah May Meeting
(SAVANNAH, GA.) Charles “Bo” Bowen of the Bowen Law Group will discuss the Savannah area’s burgeoning film industry when Buy Local Savannah gathers for its May meeting Thursday, May 23, at Cohen’s Retreat, 5715 Skidaway Road.
Bowen will discuss film and television production in the area, including existing barriers to its continued expansion and the risks presented by potential boycotts. Bowen’s law firm specializes in commercial and entertainment law, and he has expanded his involvement to larger interests in the film industry.
He is a frequent commentator and writer on entertainment industry topics in local media. In 2015, Bowen founded the Savannah Film Alliance to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration.
He also founded Southern Gateway Production Services to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers coming to Savannah to film their projects.
Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he graduated with honors in psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. He has developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law.
The Buy Local meeting will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and lunch will be served. Reservations are required.
The local trade association boasts about 150 member businesses in varied fields. Buy Local Savannah’s mission is to support locally owned and operated, independent businesses in the greater Savannah area, to maintain the area’s unique community character, provide continuing opportunities for entrepreneurs, build community economic strength and prevent the displacement of community-based businesses by national and global entities.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOWEN LAW GROUP
Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit thebowenlawgroup.com. Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.
Enmarket and Healthy Savannah Present $1,000 to Park Place Outreach and Host Serive Day
(SAVANNAH, GA) Enmarket and Healthy Savannah presented $1,000 to Park Place Outreach – Youth Emergency Services as part of the 2019 Enmarket Encourage Health Series. The check presentation was followed by a service day at the Park Place Outreach house with volunteers from Enmarket.
Park Place Outreach is one of four area non-profit organizations that will receive a $1,000 grant as part of the 2019 series. Park Place Outreach- Youth Emergency Services supports runaway, homeless, and at-risk young people, ages 11-21, through residential and after-school programs.
This marks the sixth year for the Enmarket Encourage Health Education Series sponsored by Healthy Savannah, St. Joseph’s/Candler, Clover Health, Sandfly Family Dental, the Charles H. Morris Center at Trustees’ Garden, Cha Bella, the City of Savannah, Savannah Morning News, Savannah Magazine and WRHQ.
Enmarket, founded as Interstate Stations by Robert Demere in 1963, is part of Savannah-based Colonial Group, Inc. The retailer operates convenience stores in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and was noted as the industry’s “Biggest Mover” in store count ranking by Convenience Store News in 2018. The company is committed to giving back to the community through many charitable contributions and volunteer efforts, offering fresh food, healthy snacks, and competitively priced quality fuel as part of its mission to enrich life. Enmarket currently employs more than 1,200 people and operates 124 convenience stores and 14 quick-serve restaurants as the 54th largest convenience store operator in the country. www.enmarket.com
Horizons Savannah Announces Participation in Horizons Giving Day on May 15
Local campaign seeks to raise $75,000 to expand the transformational education program
(SAVANNAH, GA) Horizons Savannahannounced today its participation in Horizons Giving Day, a national effort on May 15 with a single goal: to raise money to expand existing Horizonsprograms and bring Horizons to more students and their families. Horizons Savannahwill engage in a competitive, yet friendly, race to raise funds online and in-person with more than 50 Horizonsprograms nationwide. All funds raised in support of Horizons Savannahwill stay in the local community.
Horizonsis a transformational, community-centered education program working to close the opportunity gap for low-income children in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Horizonsincludes six weeks of academics, arts, swim lessons, field trips, and more each summer through partnerships with Savannah Country Day School, Bethesda Academy, St. Andrew’s School, and Savannah Christian Preparatory School. Horizonsstudents gain 8 – 12 weeks’ of reading and math skills each summer. Additionally, 97 percent of Horizonshigh school students graduate on time, and 91 percent go on to attend college or other post-secondary education.
“Horizonsmakes a long-term commitment to each student, providing critical summer programming and school year supports,” says Christy Edwards, Executive Director of Horizons Savannah. “Our high quality project-based learning is led by an incredible faculty, and our swim lessons and positive learning environments impact students’ self-confidence and provide the skills needed to reach their goals.”
Ninety percent of Horizonsstudents return to the program each year.
At Horizons Savannah, nearly 300 K-12 students from the local public school system participate in project-based learning curriculum, STEAM, literacy, and swimming each year. This number is expected to exceed 400 students by 2024.
To contribute to Horizons Savannah, visit www.HorizonsGivingDay.org/organizations/horizons-savannah.
ABOUT HORIZONS SAVANNAH
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannahat Savannah Country Day School, Bethesda Academy, and St. Andrew’s School, and Savannah Christian Preparatory Schoolserves over 300 low-income students each summer. Horizonsis a transformative experience for young people in Kindergarten through the 12th grade focused on helping low-income students close the achievement gap through academic support and confidence building. For more information, please contact Horizons SavannahExecutive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/, check out our Facebook page.
ABOUT HORIZONS NATIONAL
Horizons Nationalis a growing, community-centered network of more than 50 affiliate sites nationwide that provides high-quality academic enrichment programs to children in need, from Pre-K through high school. Located on the campuses of independent schools, charter schools, colleges, and universities, Horizonsprograms offer a project-based curriculum, focused on reading, STEM, the arts, fitness, nutrition, and field trips.
Kole Management Sells Apartment Portfolio, Focuses Solely on Property Management
(Savannah, GA) Savannah-based Kole Management Co. is in the process of selling its portfolio of 13 apartment communities in two states to transition exclusively into property management. In its new form, the company will retain management of eleven of those properties.
“We have decided to devote all our time and expertise to third-party management and look forward to providing the same boutique, quality service to our clients and residents as we did when we were owner/operators,” said Kole ManagementCOO Khrista Villegas.
Kole Managementput its multifamily portfolio on the market in November, and all of its properties are under contract with closing expected in April and May. That portfolio consists of seven properties in Savannah, three in Macon and one each in Augusta and Canton, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina.
”A number of factors, including historically low cap rates and broad investor interest in smaller market assets, came together to convince us that it was a good time to consider selling our portfolio,” said Kole Management Co.President, Jeff Kole. “Until recently, we had little interest in selling and were, in fact, building a robust and highly capable management company to oversee properties for ourselves and third parties. This sale provides us the opportunity to focus exclusively on offering boutique yet sophisticated property management for a wide range of apartments – from lease-ups to workforce housing – across the Southeast.”
The company expects to grow its multifamily property management portfolio with expansion into North Carolina and Florida, as well as additional properties in Macon. Details of those arrangements, as well as, the new positions brought on to support this growth, will be announced in the near future.
ABOUT KOLE MANAGEMENT COMPANY
Family owned since 1991, Kole Managementwas founded by Donald Kole, the former owner of the Builderama home supply store chain. In 1994, Donald’s son, Jeff Kole, joined KMCand currently serves as president. What started as a small investment firm based in Savannah, Georgia, is now a rapidly growing third-party management enterprise, overseeing apartment communities throughout the Southeast. In addition to that, KMChas four warehouse distribution facilities equaling approximately 600,000 square feet. For more information on Kole Management, visit Kolemc.com.
Leadership Southeast Georgia Tours Submarine Base, Studies Military Impact and Disaster Preparedness
(ST. MARYS, GA) Leadership Southeast Georgia(LSEGA) members toured Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay as part of their third session of the year, as they studied the impact of various military installations on the region’s economy and also took a look at disaster preparedness.
“There’s a certain ‘wow!’ factor involved in visiting a submarine base, and the information provided to the class gives everyone a close look at the huge impact this facility makes on the local economy,” said Lee Beckmann, Chairman of LSEGA. “It’s important that our region’s leaders understand the significance of all of our local installations to our area as well as for the defense of our nation.”
The session had three stated goals: to examine the impact of the region’s military installations on economic and workforce development; to explore the interconnectedness of our various military branches in the region; and to enhance participants’ awareness of personal leadership styles in order to explore strategies for development.
St. Marys Mayor John F. Morrissey welcomed the group at the opening breakfast, and the group also met site coordinator Terry Landreth of Camden Bikes.
After the tour of the submarine base, the group wound up its first day with a chance to bike to an evening cocktail reception, sponsored by Atlantic Salt Realtyin St. Marys’ historic district. Members had a chance to walk the waterfront to see first-hand the disaster recovery efforts there in the wake of the 2016 and 2017 hurricanes. Also available were self-directed tours of the St. Marys Submarine Museum. Dinner followed at Howard Gilman Waterfront Park.
For 20 years, representatives of business, government, education and nonprofit organizations in 10 southeast Georgia counties have taken part in LSEGA, exposing these leaders to the many facets of the region’s complex economy and helping them establish networks with their peers.
The 2019 Leadership Southeast Georgiaprogram sponsors include Evans General Contractors, Gulfstream Aerospace, Advanced Door Systems, The Sack Company, Georgia Power, Georgia Southern University, the Savannah Airport Commission, LS3P ASSOCIATES, LTD., FirstPage Marketing,Sterling Seacrest Partners, Savannah Economic Development Authority(SEDA), Thomas & Hutton, HunterMaclean, Hussey Gay Bell, Abshire Public Relations, Coastal Electric Cooperative, AT&T, The Waters Foundationand P.C. Simonton & Associates, Cecilia Russo Marketingand Carriage Trade Public Relations.
ABOUT LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST GEORGIA
Leadership Southeast Georgiais a five-month region-wide program designed to equip, empower and connect community leaders to promote positive growth and improve the quality of life in the southeast Georgia region. The executive board and program participants represent a variety of industries across Bryan, Bulloch, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh and Screven counties. The class spends one weekend a month traveling to surrounding counties to learn about the impact of local issues such as healthcare, education, economic development and transportation. For more information, visit http://www.lsega.com/