This article defines a crisis created due to the power of the internet and further its control with the same means that started the crisis in the first place. So, it is going to be blunt, raw and true; user discretion advised.
We love our campaign ideas, no matter how terrible they are, just like our kids. No denying that!
For every other idea that pops up in an individual’s head seems like to be a viral one, which will set the social media on fire with shares, hits, likes and whatnot. The D-Day arrives and it gets executed and bam! 1 comment, 3 likes and 7 unfollows, ouch. If you think this is bad, allow me to introduce you to the world of marketing campaigns that backfired right in the faces of big brands, here: https://bit.ly/31sGWzT. A little glitch in the campaign idea ends up in a huge crisis, and the credit for escalation of such crises goes to none other than the Internet.
The great writer, Stan the Man, late Stan Lee once quoted, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Indeed, the power of the Internet is to be leveraged but with caution as it bites back really bad. Yes, the internet users are the most brutal form of audience any brand will ever face. End up doing one little mistake and your brand will become a subject of meme for years to come. Yes, meme marketing is a great thing to follow, but not being publicized for the mistakes committed. And if the goof ups are planet-sized, as mentioned above by different major brands, then there is a lot at stake and hence, needs to be addressed on an immediate basis.
Whenever in doubt, always remember to go through the Murphy’s Law and you will end up reconsidering the campaign. The fourth law of Murphy is my personal favorite and gets a special mention in this paper.
“If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong.”
– Murphy’s Fourth Law
Now, coming to the part of managing the crisis, it is the Internet that serves as your savior and helps you clean the clutter. Wondering how? Let’s take a moment again and read what Murphy’s Second Law is all about. In the simple and blunt words, it says, “Nothing is as easy as it looks.” And considering the same, one needs to understand that crisis management is not a piece of cake, defining why one shouldn’t end up with a crisis in the first place. Duh!
Nevertheless, you have high hopes of ending up in a crisis and exactly this is why you are reading this paper, no matter how satirical it is. Well, the good news is, every crisis can be managed, if handled professionally. (ignoring Murphy’s Thirteenth Law, “Every solution breeds new problems.”)
The first and the most important step to manage a crisis is to acknowledge it. Yes, you have made a Pluto-sized mistake in your communication and the respite begins with acceptance to the fact that yes, the brand did it.
The second step is to plan out the official communication that will be released in regards to the shards of shattering glass that are falling upon your brand’s image. This needs to happen real-quick, straight and efficient. One suggestion: Do not try to win conversations with the audience! You will win the conversation, but lose the user base forever. There are plenty of crisis management agencies out there who would help you get out of this quicksand, destined to swallow down your brand in a matter of few hours.
Consider the value of time, as crisis spreads as quickly as wildfire and another adding minute to the release of the official communication will keep on taking a toll on your brand’s image. In other words, be quick or the brand image is dead (yes, this is the bitter reality, had to be blunt).
Use the power of the internet that initially set ablaze your brand image and fanned the flames, to extinguish the same fire. How? 3 words:
Not as simple as it sounds, but your brand needs to understand what triggered the audience, what nerve did the campaign pinch and how did the users react. Considering and understanding the same, you have to devise a communication, accepting the fault, apologizing for the same (never hurts) and fixing the issue as soon as possible. The audience surely is brutal, but they tend to listen and understand as well.
Leverage the power of the internet to spread your communication and see the crisis end in minutes (just kidding). It is not like a switch that you will be able to turn on and off as per your wish. It is going to take its due course of time to settle down, as it is easy to make an impression, but hard to forgive and forget. So again, it is always better not to mess up in the first place! Also, Murphy was an optimist, so there always is light at the end of the tunnel, usually from the burning flames of the brand image. Ouch!