Photo credit: CAllen Photography
What is a crisis? “For many, no one thinks they need a PR crisis management team until something major happens,” says Vannessa Wade who is the founder of public relations firm, Connect the Dots with offices in both Houston and DC. Vannessa recently held a class: Geared 4 Growth: Don’t Feed The Trolls at the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA), Tuesday in Houston. The focus: To help small businesses develop a plan of action should their business or personal reputation be slandered. Examples of past brand crisis include United Airlines, Pepsi, Starbucks, H&M, Uber, NFL, Tylenol and Wells Fargo. All of these businesses had to hire or have implemented a team of people to save the reputation of their respective companies.
Vannessa defines a crisis as “anything that can damage or diminish your brand. She then posed the thought, “think about a potential crisis your brand can have.” Which led her to presenting, to the participants a series of questions for Creating a PR Crisis Plan during the two-hour class.
- Who will speak for you?
- What medium will you use?
- Do you need to get a legal department involved?
- Is there a chain of command?
- What are you doing to ensure it does not happen again.
Along with dealing with a crisis are internet trolls. An important topic for anyone active on social media because there is a strong likelihood you will have to deal with one at some point. Vannessa recalls a time when on Twitter, she encountered a troll who continued to make comments on a post she had replied. State your Claim—is what she encouraged her class to do when a situation happens. “Sometimes you have to let the person know where you are coming from, but do not entertain them past the initial.” For many of us, we know trolls hide behind their keyboard looking for attention and we shouldn’t waste too much time entertaining their behavior. “Have a comment policy in place for your personal or brand page,” says Vannessa. Advice well taken by those in the room.
For more tips and information to protect yourself from a crisis visit connectthedotspr.com
Vannessa Wade, is known for her spunk and ability to connect with clients! From working on legislative campaigns to UNICEF, she helps clients hone in on their message. She has been featured on Black Enterprise, Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications. She has worked with brands in the medical, educational and financial realm. She launched a branding course to help college and university students hone in on their personal brands!
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