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Using Social Media to Lead Your Team Through a Crisis

Elizabeth Rosenberger of D S Simon Media, spoke with Rachel Racoosin (@rachelracoosin), Senior Digital Strategist for LEVICK at the PR News Media Relations Conference in Washington, D.C., about leading employees and senior leaders through media firestorms.

In today’s vlog post, Elizabeth spoke with Rachel Racoosin, Senior Digital Strategist for LEVICK about how to lead your organization’s social media messaging in a crisis, taking the right steps to prepare for a crisis, bringing emotion to the conversation through video and how to implement a dark site for your company.

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Video Transcript:

Elizabeth: Hi, I’m Elizabeth Rosenberger with D S Simon Media, and I’m here at the PR News Media Relations Conference. I am here with Rachel Racoosin from LEVICK. Nice to be here with you, Rachel.

Rachel: Nice to be here with you as well.

E: Great. And she talked about how to lead your organization’s social media messaging in a crisis. I want to talk a little bit about that– how you prepare your spokesperson in a crisis like this.

R: Oh, that’s great. So we actually do media training with whoever we’ve identified to be the spokesperson. And first and foremost, I should say that a lot of organizations don’t actually have a designated spokesperson, so it’s really important to identify that person. And then once we have, we basically do a very aggressive media training with them where we come with all of the potential positive and negative things that people could say to them in the press, and we grill them and video them. So then once they go through that process, they actually review the videos of themselves to kind of be able to understand how to best deal with the press, some of their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can make adjustments so that they’re fully prepared for when they ultimately have to be the spokesperson.

E: Yeah, that’s wonderful. I mean, it goes so well with what we were talking about earlier today with media influencers and how to turn your internal spokespeople into media stars and everything like that. I kind of wanted to go further into how video plays a role, if that’s something that actually does.

R: Yeah, that’s a great point, and actually something that I had wanted to bring up but just ran out of time. Something that one of the other presenters talked about– Eric from API– was that it’s really important to present the facts. But I think, even more importantly than that, what we see when there’s some type of conversation online is that the emotional argument tends to win. And a great way to bring that emotion to the conversation is through video. It’s compelling. It’s rich. It’s engaging. It’s an amazing way to really share your message and get people on board with you, as opposed to just having some static facts on a web page.

E: Definitely. And a little bit more on taking the steps on how to prepare for a crisis. You talked about setting up a dark site. Can you explain just a little bit more about that?

R: Sure. So a dark site is a website separate of your usual website. And it’s basically a clearinghouse for all facts, statements, information, etc., so people can find out information relating to whatever the crisis might be. It’s a place for media to get facts and information, contact information. And so it remains dark until the crisis actually occurs, and then that’s when we’re able to press it live. And it can be live in up to 24 hours.

E: Great, and I think that’s so relevant and definitely crucial for all companies across the board and across media. Thanks so much, Rachel. Thanks for your time.

R: Thank you so much.