5 Simple Social Crisis Steps For Blackberry


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Last week we were in the midst of a lesson in Crisis Public Relations at its worst from Blackberry. For a number of days there were outages worldwide and users unable to connect.  And Blackberry spokespersons were communicating with messages like “Message delays were caused by a core switch failure in RIM’s infrastructure.”

That’s not consumer friendly English which resonates with people, and few of us know (or care) what a “core switch” is.

The Issue Is Quite Simple

We just want our damn Blackberries to work. And to make it worse, they have communicated that the service works – only to see it fail minutes later again. And this has happened a number of times.

The very basics of crisis PR management involves communicating clearly, honestly and in language which resonates with consumers.  The brand – particularly with the imminent launch of the Apple iPhone 4S – needs to very quickly communicate much clearer – in addition, naturally to fixing the problem immediately.

In the end, Blackberry needs to be resigned that there will be some fallout when a crisis occurs. Wrongdoing has occurred and they won’t get off scot-free. Once fixed it’s time to fulfill promises to customers or constituents, get back to work and do what they do best – Doing what they are known for is the best way to rehabilitate reputation and legacy.

Some ways they can effectively utilize digital media to recover from their crisis PR nightmare:

  1. Utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other digital media tools more regularly and more effectively before you need them – personally engage with consumers and you will excite them. Challenge them – and engage them positively when problems inevitably occur. The Blackberry Twitter feed has been quite empty or vague throughout the crisis.
  2. Immediately get to work on Online Reputation Management (ORM) – 40% of Page 1 “Blackberry” searches on Google are currently negative – and that won’t go away anytime soon without an intense focused (and necessary) ORM campaign.
  3. Create content and communicate – Blackberry needs to get back to the “crackberry” community – and quickly.  The posts need to reflect the thoughts and insights of the brand and get people positive again. Don’t let the first video of the CEO be a negative one.
  4. Hyperlink. Create links, discussion, and chatter about positive content that exists. Hyperlink all positive content to other sources and channels
  5. Supervise. Be aware of whats being said – now more than ever – in digital media channels. Amd respond and act accordingly – quickly.

As Warren Buffett says : “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”





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