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

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Venke Sharma & Hushidar Kharas

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    Acknowledgements

    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

    CCO

    consumer commitment officer

    CDC

    Center for Disease Control and Prevention

    CDO

    chief digital officer

    CEO

    chief executive officer

    CFO

    chief financial officer

    CMO

    chief marketing officer

    COO

    chief operating officer

    CRM

    customer relationship management

    CXO

    chief of respective function

    ERP

    enterprise resource planning

    FDA

    Food and Drug Authority

    FSSAI

    Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

    HR

    human resources

    LGBT

    lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

    ME

    Middle East

    NGO

    nongovernmental organization

    PR

    public relations

    R&D

    research and development

    SUV

    sports utility vehicle

    TRAI

    Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

    Foreword

    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

    Preface

    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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