Managing your brand during a crisis

Khoros Alumni (Retired)

As we’ve learned over the past year, a crisis can occur at any time. Being prepared for a crisis, be it political, social, public health-related, or something else we can’t imagine yet, is essential. Your brand will be stressed no matter what -it's best to eliminate the stress you can control, rather than come at it flat-footed. 

While below are some helpful tips, it’s critical to take a day-by-day, or even hour-by-hour approach, and evaluate what next steps make the most sense for your brand as events continue to develop. We recommend consulting your internal legal team to discuss any risks with communications. For more resources or additional advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to your primary Khoros point of contact.

Below are our best practices for managing your brand during a crisis. 

Review Owned Content within Khoros Marketing

  • Review all content and adjust or pause as needed. Be mindful of what copy and creative is included within your content as certain words and images can easily be misinterpreted or triggering depending on the current climate. 
  • To pause publishing in Khoros Marketing, follow the steps below:
    • Click Company Settings at the top right of the Marketing main window. The Company Settings settings view opens.
    • Select Pause Publishing from the left-hand menu.
    • Click the Pause Publishing button.
    • In the table of initiatives, click the pause icon or activate icon for the initiative that you want to pause or resume. Alternately, click Pause All Publishing to stop all publishing or Resume All Publishing to resume all publishing.

Note: Posts that are scheduled to be published during a pause period will be moved to a “Failed to Publish” status at their scheduled publish time. To publish a “failed” post, you must resume publishing for the initiative and then manually reschedule the post. When initiatives are paused, moderation activities remain enabled. You can still reply to and comment on incoming posts.

Keep a pulse on conversation in Khoros Intelligence

Note: For more information on what you can do in Intelligence, see this article. For a template you can use to update internal stakeholders on conversations surfaced using Intelligence, see this article.

  • Be mindful and stay up-to-date on the current climate.
    • Ensure that you are current on the most recent developments and that you’re pivoting your content and engagement strategy accordingly. 
    • Maintain a consistent pulse of key conversation trends on social through proactive and robust social listening, as well as evaluating how competitors are reacting and responding.
    • For example: A sample search string in Khoros Intelligence regarding the incidents at the Capitol could include: (“brand name” OR @”brand name”) AND (capitol OR capital OR DC OR "occupy the" OR "storm the capitol" OR “storm the capital” OR evacuation OR lockdown OR "lock down" OR "under attack")

Connect with your service teams and automate processes in Khoros Care

  • Create tags with crisis-specific keywords to categorize and track inbound volume.
    • Automate this process using tags in Khoros Care. Once the tag is applied, care agents can quickly and easily filter their queues to review associated comments and take action or escalate where necessary. 
    • When a situation is still developing, adjust priority to ensure associated inbound volume is reviewed by your team. Once a Khoros Care tag is applied to open conversations, create a new priority rule that includes the tag. This workflow will ensure agents review sensitive conversations first.
  • Prioritize your service queues.
    • During a crisis or a sensitive situation, your care and service teams are mission critical. They are the front lines and your eyes and ears for your communities. Make sure they are prepared with the resources they need and aren’t drafting responses in the moment. At this time, we recommend pausing any brand love or regular responses as they can come across as insensitive.
    • As care teams have the best pulse of what your audience is saying, it’s important that they’re sharing a consistent drum beat of feedback and community updates to key stakeholders as well.
  • Use chatbots and automation to provide quick support.
    • As crises develop, make sure any chatbots on your websites or social channels are updated with prevalent information. Prioritize this information in your bot workflows to ensure that chatbot messaging is aligned with any broader brand perspectives being shared.
    • If your team doesn’t currently leverage bots, but is experiencing higher conversations and needs than normal, implement automation workflows to help guide customers with less sensitive issues to pre-existing resources. This will help lessen the load on support agents and ensure that sensitive conversations are being handled quickly.

Evaluate communication methods in your Khoros Community

  • To help community members focus on mission-critical information, temporarily pause notification emails to community members by opening a support ticket. Members will still receive user registration, password reset, and email update notifications. 
  • If your brand needs to rapidly communicate information and also coordinate customer feedback, it can be a good idea to create a special group hub in your community for this temporary purpose. It is then easy to invite all the appropriate people from your team as well as any vocal or heavily impacted customers and partners. One of the best ways to build trust and strengthen relationships is to be a reliable source of information. 
  • For additional information, visit this blog on other ways to use the Communities product in a crisis.

Involve the right stakeholders

  • Designate one representative from appropriate teams (e.g. brand marketing, legal, PR/comms, Ops, etc) to form a social media safety net. Not every member will be part of day to day operations, like legal, ops, but it’s important to reach out to them proactively for outgoing content, customer responses, and other activities that are sensitive in nature. In the worst case scenario where you have a crisis, you’ll know who your responders are.

Given that a crisis can change quickly, it’s important to remain nimble and flexible. Communication and collaboration are essential. 

Finally, remember to check in with your teams as they’re navigating the stressors of a crisis. Ensuring they have the resources they need and the space to step away will help keep morale high and lines of communication open. And after any crisis event, consider holding debriefing sessions with your crisis committee to identify what actions and communications worked well, and what your organization can improve upon for the future.

Helpful links throughout Atlas regarding Crisis Management and Khoros