This guest post is by Jeff Domansky of The PR Coach.
Your blog is a very important part of your personal image or company brand. While you’ve invested time in its development, have you ever thought about how you could use your blog to manage a crisis?
A blog offers several advantages compared to news releases, websites, or other social media channels.
It lets you control your message without a media filter. It speaks with authority as your “voice of record.” In a crisis, your blog can be a valuable internal and external communications tool. And, most importantly, with quick action, it can help ensure you’re heard accurately in a crisis.
Ten ways to blog in a crisis
Here are ten valuable ways you can use your blog to help manage a crisis:
1. Quick response
Issue your holding statement and/or first “official” response to a crisis as soon as possible on your blog. This prevents a vacuum being filled by the messages of your critics, competitors, or opponents. Deal with the most obvious concerns. Be proactive. Provide facts. Reassure the community that you’re actively working on the issue and that safety is paramount.
Scott Monty shows how SeaWorld used its blog effectively in the tragic death of an employee by one of its Killer Whales.
3. Voice of record
Use your blog as your company’s voice when you can’t reach everyone more easily in other ways. A fire or other emergency may prevent you from accessing your email system, your office fax, or communications equipment. In that situation, your blog may be your only available communications channel.
GE recently tried to use Twitter to defend itself from media attacks around a tax issue. It didn’t work. 140 characters wasn’t enough. Using the GE blog would have been more effective for such a complicated defense. Ultimately, GE has quit trying to “spin” its story after a poor media relations effort.
Quick, timely updates through your blog can be invaluable in keeping employees, customers, regulators, fire and safety officials, the media, and the general public informed of new developments. Remember, your updates can be very brief and factual. Most crisis managers know it’s important to show that even if you have not yet resolved the crisis, you’re working to solve it.
BP attempted to use a blog for Gulf oil spill cleanup updates,