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How to Preempt a Public Relations Disaster

You’ve heard the phrase “PR nightmare,” and you can probably think of a few examples (remember the Applebee’s disaster from a few years ago, by chance?). A negative PR situation can get out of hand quickly, but with a little planning and forethought, a nonprofit can perhaps escape a disaster by putting a social media policy and other plans in place. Of course, fingers crossed that the plan never needs to be implemented, but it’s better to be ready.

Here are some tips for thinking through your PR plan and social media policy ahead of time:

Have an effective social media policy with risk management algorithm securely in place.

How does your organization respond to negative criticism? Who responds? Who is responsible? Social media policies need to be revisited semi-annually. Prepare to write a social media policy or reevaluate your current policy.

What is the purpose of the policy?

  • What are you hoping to achieve by having a social media policy?
  • Is your main aim to control its use?
  • Who can and can’t post on behalf of the company?
  • Is it to protect privacy or primarily for risk management?

Who are the key stakeholders?

  • Who needs to be involved in the development of the policy?
  • It is top down or do you want feedback and contribution from staff?

What constitutes as inappropriate behavior on social media?

Privacy laws, company personnel, criticisms about you organization. It is important to articulate what is considered unacceptable online. You can only take disciplinary action against behavior if the guidelines are clearly articulated.

  • Can employees contribute to the social media platforms of the company?
  • Are you monitoring your employees for rogue communication?
  • Can employees use social media platforms during work hours for non-work purposes?

How is the issue of risk management addressed in your policy?

  • What will the company policy be on responding to criticism?
  • What is the process for documenting such an event?
  • How are you going to embed the policy?

Lastly, how will you inform your staff and ensure they understand the policy. 

  • Training from third party social media management? HR briefing?

If you have further questions regarding social media policy contact us. We’re here to help!

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