Thursday, February 3, 2011

Net Presence: Platform for Credible Crisis Communications

I read an interesting blog posting by Alexandra Samuel on HBR.Org titled "when to stop and when to keep going with your social media strategy." In his blog posting, Alexandra mentioned that the lack of a "gate keeper" allows genuine feedback about an organization's product and  service to be raised. In this context, organizations that truly want to improve their offerings should not shun or fear these feedback, but embrace it as a tool to stay ahead of the competition.

Alexandra's posting resonates with me as in many of my discussions with crisis communications managers, my advocacy for a net presence (as part of building a credible source for breaking news) is often rejected. The reason is a rationalization that the day to day problems such a net presence will surface will outweigh any benefits that it can bring in a crisis.

Hence, the key lesson for me is that a net presence provides an organization two main benefits - a valuable source of unadulterated feedback to improve its product and services, and a credible platform for crisis communications.  Any organization that fears a net presence as the "cons outweigh the pros" is therefore throwing the baby out with the water.

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