On Thursday night, I was able to take part in the #NPPRSA Twitter Chat. This was the first Twitter chat that I ever participated in and I have to say it was an amazing experience. The special guest of the chat was Valerie Merahn Simon (@ValerieSimon). She is a senior marketing executive who currently serves as Director of Marketing Communications for Plymouth Rock Assurance. Valerie also is the co-founder of the HAPPO and PRStudChat, Twitter chats.
The topic of discussion on Thursday night was crisis communication, something that every Public Relations professional needs to be knowledgeable about because it is so crucial to brands. Through the Twitter chat I was able not only to learn more about crisis communications, but specifically about tips and strategic ideas for planning during and before a crisis. As a PR senior, it was really awesome to be able to discuss an important topic with other students and PR professionals in detail. The most important thing I learned during the discussion was how to turn a crisis into an opportunity for your brand as a resource for the media.
Here are some of the response tweets that I posted during the #NPPRSA Twitter chat and other tweets that I found the most interesting and helpful from other people.
Question 1 asked by NPPRSA was “What can PR professionals do to plan for a potential crisis before it occurs?”
A tweet that I found to be a very good answer to the Twitter chat’s first question was from a fellow PR student at another college:
This tweet is very knowledgeable because in the world that we live in now, it is extremely important to be prepared, know what you are doing, and what message you need to get out. This holds true especially due to he fact that social media is a way for people to get and receive messages instantaneously.
As for question number 2 asked by NPPRSA was “What are the basic requirements for any thorough crisis communications plan?”
My favorite answer to this question was from the special guest, Valerie Simon.
Again, the point of being prepared was discussed. The best thing to take away from Valerie’s tweet is that you need to have contacts both offline and online. This reverts back to getting your message out quickly but knowing who to contact.
Question 3 asked by NPPRSA was ” Which departments should be included in developing a crisis communications & response plan? How can you work together?”
Lastly, question 4 was asked by NPPRSA was “If a crisis occurs, how can you ensure your brand helps the public and is a resource to the media?”
The response that I found most helpful was by, Marybeth West:
Marybeth reinforced my belief that being accurate is better than being first and this is extremely important in PR especially in crisis communication. Retracting a statement that you have made because it is not true, really reflects poorly on your brand. It is much better to wait and be the first one with the correct information!
I really enjoyed being able to participate in this Twitter chat. Since it was my first one, I really did not know what to expect, but I can say that I definitely learned so much by being able to read responses from other students, and professionals. One of the coolest parts was getting retweets or favorites from other people in the chat. This to me was an important part of the chat because it basically tells you that people agree with your statements The experience was so amazing that I believe that I will try to take part in more Twitter chats to come. The information that I was able to receive on this important subject was unlike any other because it came from actual people and not a public relations book! Overall, I am very happy that I had the chance to participate and am looking forward to the next time I can join the discussion!