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A Social Media Exclusive: Crisis Management on Steroids

Think British Petroleum is the only company that needs crisis management to repair their reputation?  OK, so maybe nobody needs it quite as much as BP does these days, but a recent press release by global communications company Porter Novelli tells me otherwise. In it they announce the launch of a new business services specialty that will help companies handle the effects of publicly damaging incidents that stem from the digital space.

The unique aspect of this for marketers and public relations professionals is in its social media application and the opportunity for real-time corporate responsiveness to potentially harmful online conversations. Porter Novelli smartly provides a digital suite of crisis preparedness and reaction services supported by “Go Teams.” These are public relations and crisis management experts who utilize online tracking and analytics tools to measure consumer and media sentiments and dispositions.

I found that by no means was Porter Novelli the first and only player in this category. Ottowa, Ontario-based DNA13 has made a business out of knowing how to handle real-time crisis management from a digital perspective. Although they cover the more traditional mediums of TV and print, they also align the online and social media fronts for clients. Check out their blog for some great examples of how social media and online public sentiment tracking played a big part in crisis management for companies such as Nestle and Domino’s.

The growing number of companies providing these specialty services lends more credence to the perceived value of corporate transparency in this digital age. Social media has further opened the two-way doors of corporate and consumer engagement. The power of this efficient platform for corporations to directly respond to negative and positive sentiments on a real-time basis is undeniable from a public relations standpoint. My advice is to be prepared because this very conversation might be coming to your corporate boardroom sooner than you think!