The Indestructible Brand: Crisis Management in the Age of Social Media


Venke Sharma & Hushidar Kharas

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    We'd like to dedicate this book to everything that makes social media as interesting and fascinating as it is today, the trolls who keep us all on our toes, the fangirls and fanboys without whom no brand could survive, and the overworked and underpaid social media interns whose occasional errors provided us rich material.

    List of Abbreviations


    consumer commitment officer


    Center for Disease Control and Prevention


    chief digital officer


    chief executive officer


    chief financial officer


    chief marketing officer


    chief operating officer


    customer relationship management


    chief of respective function


    enterprise resource planning


    Food and Drug Authority


    Food Safety and Standards Authority of India


    human resources


    lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender


    Middle East


    nongovernmental organization


    public relations


    research and development


    sports utility vehicle


    Telecom Regulatory Authority of India


    A sane method to the madness of crisis is the best way to describe this book.

    In this era of social media, brands are constantly being tried in the court of public opinion, and this creates a need for a well-oiled crisis machine to prevent loss of reputation, revenue, and brand love.

    What I loved the most about the book is the concept of a “consumer commitment officer” whose job would be to check if the organization is fulfilling its promise to consumers 24×7.

    It sums up what I believe is a truly consumer-centric approach for organizations in the social age; listening to consumers and acting upon their feedback in a timely fashion is the first step in being crisis-ready.

    With invaluable lessons from brands that have been caught unaware in the middle of crises, the chapters guide you through a feasible preparatory process for being crisis-ready.

    Sanjay Behl Chief Executive Officer Raymond Limited, India


    We live in a social age, and whether or not your brand is on social media, your consumers are. They are continuously sharing their good and bad experiences about your brand or service. While every brand would love consumers saying good things about them, most brands are not prepared to deal with negative feedback. If ignored, that can soon spiral into a crisis.

    This book seeks to aid brand and business owners in structuring organizations to be crisis-ready. We discuss the creation of a crisis squad and a crisis playbook, envisioning various scenarios that can occur and what the brand's response should be. We recommend preventive measures that can save brands from social embarrassment, and social listening strategies that can alert organizations to a problem before it becomes a crisis. When all else fails and a crisis is at hand, the focus shifts to executing the playbook, turning the conversation around leveraging evangelists and influencers. Once the crisis has ended, it's time to audit the playbook and close the gaps, as well as evaluate financial or reputational damage done to the brand and quickly recover.

    The objective of this book is to help brand owners evaluate their organization's crisis readiness, take measures to prevent crises where possible, build a crisis plan to respond when the inevitable happens, leverage technology to gain actionable insights in time, every time, and finally master the craft of storytelling to turn the conversation in their favor. We hope that you learn from the several examples highlighted in this book and develop a crisis-ready organization by using the tools mentioned here.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed in the book are the authors’ own and do not reflect those of the organizations that the authors are currently associated with.

    Venke Sharma Hushidar Kharas
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