Crisis management on social media: Sookio style

Update: Scroll down for slides and a full write-up of our breakfast seminar at the Cambridge Network on social media and crisis management.

How can you use it to prevent a crisis happening - and to stop things escalating when it all goes pear shaped? And would you use Protein World's 'robust' approach to crisis management in your own business?!

Background to the seminar

It’s important to look after the reputation of your business. Bad news, as Douglas Adams reminds us, travels faster than the speed of light and one bad experience with your brand can send consumers running to voice their displeasure on social media.

Even the most airtight operation can fall victim to human error, so it’s important to know how to handle yourself on social media and turn a potential crisis into an opportunity. You need to be poised, you need to be dignified.

You need to basically be nothing like Amy’s Baking Company…

April 30 2015 saw a Cambridge Network’s next Breakfast Networking session focusing on best practice for saving face when (not if) social media emergencies arise. Our own Sue Keogh gave her expert opinion on how social media can be used to turn situations to your advantage and take control of the narrative.

Joining Sue was Paul Casciato of Cheary & Gallagher Media Consulting. Paul’s talk outlined how to set up emergency plans for unforeseen moments. What happens when your restaurant gives half of Cambridge food poisoning? How do you effectively communicate a product recall? What measures do you set in place? What to do, and what not to do…


Business owners at the event were given plenty of real-life examples of how to tame the beast that is social media and formulate a responsive, engaging PR policy that shows off the best of your brand.

…Goodnight to you too, Amy.

Social media and crisis management

In this talk we looked at two core strategies:

  • Do the legwork early. Establish a positive social media community where you engage regularly with your followers. This gives you a platform where you can take control of the narrative if something does go wrong, and you will have built up a bit of goodwill from the community to cushion you.
  • Use social media wisely to stop situations escalating and causing more damage to your brand. When do you take the conversation offline? How can you keep your team on message? How can you ensure the customer comes away feeling positive towards you?

We also used Protein World as a case study as food for thought. Their 'beach body' campaign caused an enormous backlash. But rather than bend over backwards to apologise, they came out fighting, earning loyalty from their long-time customers while causing offence to people who were never going to buy their product anyway. And with the overall result that revenue increased dramatically during this period of crisis. Now that's the sort of outcome you can't argue with!

Stay calm in a crisis with Sookio 

Sookio is a digital agency based in Cambridge, UK. We help our clients communicate with confidence through quality content for the web and social media. Find out how we can help you avoid a crisis on social media through core services like expert strategy, social media management and training.