Thursday, February 16, 2017

Crisis Communications: NParks Tembusu Tree Incident

[Crisis Communications] Tembusu Tree Incident
To allay public fears over the safety of large trees in Singapore, and to diffuse their responsibility for the recent incident, NParks issued a statement that trees in Singapore were inspected based on "international standards".
This is a standard approach used by most organizations and, in most instances, it would work. For NParks, it didn't and there were flamed by netizens. The use of "international standards" works for others as the average citizen will know of and accept that there are international standards for things like rail safety, food safety, etc. However, not many average citizens know of the existence of an international standards for tree inspection. They therefore reacted with skepticism and saw it as PR Speak.
Personally, our first reaction when I saw it on the news was to ask if there is even such a thing as an international standard for tree inspection.
Learning Point: While we can and should adapt best practices to manage a crisis, we must however contextualize it to our own situation.
nparks statement tembusu international standards

Friday, February 10, 2017

Online Course: Managing Social Media Crisis

Social Media has fundamentally changed the information environment in which we operate. Crisis communications strategies that do not reflect this new environment are at best ineffective, and at worse, disastrous.  This course is designed for Business Owners, Brand Managers and PR Professionals who are responsible for the reputation and brand of their company.

At the end of this online workshop, participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully identify a social media crisis, assess its impact on the organization and know the necessary steps to take to deal with the crisis. The course will also cover the impact of social media on PR and Branding, help participants understand the characteristics of a crisis, know the 5 essential elements of an effective crisis communications plan and use the SCAER Framework (a decision making tool for managing negative online mentions).
Use our link to sign-up at the promotional rate of only USD10 (Usual Price: USD50) - Online Social Media Crisis Course
online social media courses

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crisis Communications: Where do you rebut negative online mentions

In recent years, the social media landscape has changed. Increasingly we find FB pages and websites dedicated to the exclusive propagation of one message at the expense of the truth. Singapore is not spared and anti-establishment Facebook pages and websites like All Singapore Stuff (ASS) and Temasek Review Emeritus (TRE) exist and have large followings. These are echo chambers where any call for objectivity or correction of misinformation are vehemently shouted-down.

So what is an organization to do when such platforms distort the truth and paints you in a bad light?

Some social media experts advocate that you should not give these platforms credibility by responding on their platform. These experts also believe that by responding on their platform, you open yourself up to further distortions and smears. What these experts advocate is to counter the misinformation using your own social media accounts.

This, we believe is wrong. Like it or not, the misinformation on these platforms will remain there for all to see. Yes, while it is an echo chamber and your response will be slammed, responding on their platform will get your side of the story out and this may correct the misperception that the 'neutrals' on these platforms have about your organization.

At CW Fong & Associates, one of the cardinal rules we have about countering negative deliberate attacks, is that the rebuttal must be present on the same platform that is propagating the falsehoods. Not being present on that platform only serves to perpetuate the falsehood and fuels the misperceptions people will have about your organization.