Crisis communication: What should and should not we do in the event of an Internet comment crisis?

From the smallest to the largest company faces critical moments or, also known as, crises, and communication is of the utmost importance in order to manage these situations, especially when it comes to comments on different Internet platforms. 

It is clear that each company will have its own organisation and its own way of dealing with problems, but we will now discuss some of the basic and general guidelines for good crisis communication that can be adapted to any type of company. 

HOW TO DEAL WITH A CRISIS? 

It is extremely important to know how to communicate such situations, both to one's superiors and to those below, as a crisis can seriously affect the company as a whole. 

  1. All in peace and quiet

As with any dispute, the first thing to do is to keep calm. It will always be better to take a reasonable time before replying to any negative comments.  

However, Nor should we allow too much time to elapse, as this may generate a feeling of indifference among our customers and users. 

  1. Identifying the origin

It is extremely important to identify the origin of our reputational crisisIn other words, identify the dissatisfied person, without prejudice to third parties who may have joined the cause by expressing their dissatisfaction, to whom we must also provide a response. 

  1. Alert and call for help

Depending on the organisation of the company, we will have to notify the right people to begin to solve the problem, analysing how we should act. 

In this respect, it is very common for many superiors to downplay the importance of such situations. Therefore, it is very common for many superiors to downplay the importance of such situations, We will have to make an effort to make them see that ignoring them can mean the total collapse of the company's reputation.

  1. Check the information

Another aspect to check is the veracity of informationThis is to say, if what is said on the platforms can really happen with respect to our products or services. This step is indispensable in order to identify the trolls of those customers who have actually had a problem with our products or services. 

  1. Damage assessment and control

It is essential to assess the damage to our reputation, as this is the only way to control it. 

Thus, depending on the severity of the problem, the action would be to compensate by other publications or even to issue a statement explaining what happened and the solution we have adopted. 

We must remember that everything must be adapted to the moment and the situationOur aim is to provide a good response to our current and future customers. 

  1. Learning from mistakes

Last but not least is to draw some conclusions from all that has happened and to learn from it.  

This should not be confused with dismissing the person who has made a mistake, since we all make mistakes. For this reason, The right thing to do is to train the right people well and to teach them how to deal with such situations, and to seek to take action to improve those aspects that may cause the most problems or controversy. 

WHAT BEHAVIOURS SHOULD WE AVOID AT ALL COSTS? 

Once we are aware of the guidelines to follow, we must also be aware of those behaviours that we should avoid, as they will only make the situation worse: 

  1. Direct confrontations

It goes without saying that we all want to defend our reputation and honour, but arguing with users is not the best option. Moreover, in the eyes of others, it creates a bad image of the company's attitude. 

For this reason, We should avoid denying the facts or accusing of lying, as this will only aggravate the situation. 

  1. Lies

Another behaviour to avoid is lying. In this regard, we should always remember the following saying: "...the only way to avoid lying is to lie.It's better to catch a liar than a lame man". Therefore, lying not only worsens the situation, but also further damages the company's reputation.

  1. Coercion and/or threats

While it is common practice to refer such situations to legal professionals, they should be dealt with, and above all communicated, in a timely manner. very tactful to the person of origin.  

Otherwise, it could be seen as a threat and be the trigger for a major smear campaign.

  1. Ignore, block and/or delete

Finally, ignoring, blocking and/or deleting would be the worst "solution".  

These actions would have a great negative effect on the image of our company, generating a feeling of indifference, passivity and disdain among users, thus further worsening our reputation..  

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