Lisabeth Weiner Consultants

Unconventional Wisdom

Principles of Social Media

Social media components can drive a Web 2.0 strategic plan that pushes clients and customers to your business and creates a level playing field for you and your customers to talk to each other. Corporations are still learning how to tie the knot between social media and increased revenues, but here are some principles to think about when entering this new, uncharted world:

  • Listen to your customers. Their comments can help you improve your offerings.
  • Engage and encourage conversation. Without engagement, you aren't maximizing the true value of social media.
  • Be ready to respond promptly to customer comments.
  • Even if you believe your current generation of customers isn’t using social media, the next generation of customers will expect it.
  • Social media is far more affordable than traditional marketing such as direct mail, advertising, or printed brochures that can quickly become obsolete.
  • Social media can be optimized when it reflects the personality of the company.
  • Even if you don’t want to use social media, rest assure, your competitors probably are.
  • Don't wait for research to show the ROI of social media. Start now and the dollars are likely to follow in time.

Crisis Management

The likelihood of a crisis occurring in your company is growing because of increased scrutiny by the media, instant access to information - and misinformation - from the Internet and a more competitive world.

Lisabeth Weiner Consultants has extensive experience in helping companies anticipate and prepare for crises, developing crisis communications manuals, and managing through the difficult days when a crisis is in full swing.

Here are a few tips to think about before you face your next crisis:

Develop a philosophy for dealing with a crisis

  • Integrity at the center of all decision-making
  • Quick, comprehensive, and fact-based communication
  • Take responsibility for the crisis; own it.
  • Act responsibly to protect your company's interests, without compromising the truth
  • Act responsibly and quickly to protect human health
  • Protect company's brands and reputation
  • CEO or appropriate senior level executive to assume role as key spokesperson to maintain credibility during a crisis

Steps to take during a crisis

  • Evaluate stakeholders and audience groups
  • Establish chain of command; assign decision making roles
  • Limit public comments to designated spokespersons to avoid misinformation
  • Use social media to engage with audience -- it is a dialogue, not a monologue. One employee should have responsbility for overseeing its implementation.
  • Avoid speculation; say you don't know rather than guess
  • Provide media with adequate tools to make it easier for them to do their jobs
    • Background information and fact sheets
    • Video News Release
    • Audio News Release
  • Accessibility
  • Do not assess blame
  • Develop messages that respond to issues; stick to messages in speaking to all audience groups

Media Savviness in 3 Steps

Delivering the message

  • Repetition is key
  • Learning how to "bridge questions" - that is, to direct the conversation where you want it to go
  • Hooking is another key concept- it helps to influence the next question that the reporter is going to ask
  • Flagging helps you to re-emphasize your key points to draw attention to them

Supporting your message

  • Simple facts are the best argument
  • Statistics should be used only when put in "real-life" terms
  • The endorsements of outside experts and authorities will add strength to any message
  • Analogies and comparisons will make your message come alive and make it more memorable
  • Personal anecdotes and experiences will help the audience relate to you

Tips to remember when being interviewed

  • Don't answer hypothetical questions
  • Offer another answer to "either/or" questions
  • Don't repeat inflammatory words or questions
  • Don't fill the silence
  • Don't go "off the record"
  • Don't treat reporters like adversaries
  • Correct all inaccurate statements
  • Use "I" not the corporate "we"
  • Get your message across
  • Take control; don't let the reporter put words in your mouth
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat your key message.

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Please call with any questions.

Lisabeth Weiner Consultants, Inc.

17 N. State Street, Suite 1700
Chicago, Illinois 60602

(312) 252.7360 (voice)
(312) 252.7361 (fax)
(312) 485.6211 (cell)