Social Media Crisis Communication & Management


"You need to be prepared for today's media culture, in which a tweet can become newsworthy, and a news interview can become tweet-worthy" (Brad Phillips).

Digital and social media platforms are an easy way for your brand and customers to interact in real life, but it is also a double-edged sword in a crisis. With just a single click, information (whether true or not) can spread like wildfire, making it incredibly difficult to control.

From monitoring, diverting, avoiding, to preparing for, and finally surviving an online crisis, you will need to have specific frameworks set in place. This way, you maximize your preparation to allow you the opportunity to minimize damage to your brand reputation and get your business back into the swing of things as soon as possible.

This hands-on workshop is filled with proactive and reflective exercises, best practice tips, and simulation activities to orient you toward being well-planned for potential crises, along with a strong grasp of how to navigate your way through a crisis that plays out online.


At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

- Understand various ways in which a social media murmur can evolve into a full-blown crisis
- Understand where and how a social media crisis may play out, and to what extend the brand can realistically gain control of the scenario
- Explore planning options for handling emerging and actual crises
- Examine the various stakeholders involved in different forms of crises and the appropriate channels to reach out to them and communicate pertinent information
- Understand and utilise message mapping principles as a method to prepare for potential crises
- Develop appropriate protocols and response patterns for implementation at various stages of an online crisis
- Understand the importance of strategic brand messaging in the curation of crisis responses
- Understand the importance of offline communication in an online crisis, as well as the interrelationships that are created and evolve from this

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No Topic Topic Description
1 UNDERSTANDING A SOCIAL MEDIA CRISIS | Anatony & Battle-Ground Rules | From Issue to Crisis & Beyond

We will explore the evolution of an online crisis and the various battlegrounds in which these play out. We will explore monitoring tools, and examine when and where the tipping point between issue and crisis occurs. We shall also examine ways to divert and deflect a potential crisis, and how a brand can respond in the early phases, attempting to mitigate any potential crisis from evolving.

2 CONNECTING WITH STAKEHOLDERS | Online Crisis Communication | Digital Dynamics & a Social Media Crisis Management Framework

We examine the various tools of social and digital media to connect with stakeholders, be they media, the public, team members, shareholders, etc. We will discuss digital dynamics and how “news” goes viral, and look at how these facets interplay. From this, we develop realistic strategies to plan for a crisis scenario.

3 MESSAGE MAPPING & RESPONSE PROTOCOLS | Strategising Now for Response Later | Setting the Rules for Engagement

Using the popular Message Mapping concept, we will discuss planning for potential crises and the development of key response protocols which will help us in their mitigation. We will examine various platforms associated with digital and social media (including dark social). Our approach will be in establishing best practice protocols and messaging systems to effectively work with stakeholders and get the truth out there. 

4 BRAND COMMUNICATIONS & STRATEGY ALIGNMENT | Integration for Crisis Management

To finish off, we will explore in detail the interplay and key learnings we get from offline media and public relations in handling a crisis, and explore ways to ensure strong cross-overs and retain consistent brand (and crisis) messaging. We will discuss how to retain brand messaging as part of the ongoing crisis communications, and utilize this to rebuild credibility after a crisis scenario. 



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