As a digital native, I have grown up being able to have access to any company via the World Wide Web. Consumers find this online presence of different business’ very helpful for many reasons. One can look up any type of product that would be of interest to purchase. People can look up different reviews on different products, interact with different users on online communities, and talk about the brand from which they are making a purchasing decision. Thus, the Internet and social media have evolved the nature of a business’ interaction with different companies and consumers.
With all of that being said, what course of action do companies take if something negative is being said about their brand online? How do they handle customer service on all the social media platforms in which they are active on? The answer I have for one interested in this matter, is a company will participate in effective crisis communication in order to resolve an issue associated with their brand.
Dr. Freberg has lectured about crisis communication to us students at the University of Louisville. The information she presented does not only help with companies, but also with individuals who engage on social media.
Top 5 tips:
1. Post material that is not controversial
2. Manage the online social presence that is apparent of an individual or a company, across all platforms
3. Respond to a problem posted on social media within 24 hours… The sooner you respond and resolve the issue… The better!
4. Participate in strategic communications… Have a plan and strategy ready… Be able to act quick on your toes.
5. Be honest and hold a trustworthy reputation with your online audience… Build your credibility!
As I have mentioned in my blog before, I am a resident of Louisville, Ky. I was born and raised in Louisville and grew up as a Cardinal fan. Obviously, these factors went into my decision when choosing a college to attend. I wanted to be apart of the University of Louisville and be an actual “cardinal”. It was so weird to be on campus with the athletes I watch at the games and on TV in “real-life”! I was in heaven! Words can not begin to even explain the excitement I had when both football and basketball won major bowl/championship games last year (2012)… Year of the Cardinal! I could not believe that I will remember these two events as being a student during these memorable times for UofL athletics and Louisville as a community.
Although, the latest story in the media about a UofL basketball player has made me realize that sometimes your favorite college players will not always excite you. Chane Behanan, UofL athlete, was recently indefinitely suspended from the University of Louisville basketball team. Needless to say, I was in shock as was most of the town. People have said that he was previously suspended, but I still could not get over the fact that Pitino has said “it is not probable” that Behanan will be rejoining the team anytime soon. I think my heart sunk a little after reading that line.
[ http://college-basketball.si.com/2013/04/09/chane-behanan-still-speaks-loudly-but-now-its-on-the-court/ ]
Louisville basketball has not won a national champoinship since 1986, until last year when Behanan and the rest of the team succeed in winning the title again. The whole town was in amaze. It was HUGE! All fans are in utter excitement for basketball season to begin again until we all were informed with the latest news about Behanan.
With all that being said, I would like to talk about my opinion from a communication student’s standpoint. This whole situation is a great example of where crisis communication is needed. We have learned about this topic in Dr. Karen Freberg’s strategic communication and social media courses. Yes, Pitino did make a statement to the media about the university’s decision on the suspension. However, I think it would have been more beneficial and reputable for Chane to make a statement. I do understand that he is a “student-athlete” and there are limitations, but I think it would have hushed a lot of the talk going around town and help maintain his reputation if this young man would have made a personal statement. As we have learned, effective crisis communication occurs only when one acts fast and makes a truthful statement to the public by explaining and taking full responsibility their actions that are being attacked. The public tends to think more highly of those who take up for their own actions rather than hearing someone else explain them.
I personally would have liked to hear what Behanan would have to say about everything being said about him in the news. It does not have to be detailed or too personal but just a statement coming from him. All together, I think that if he were to utilize crisis communication, in his own personal voice, all the buzz in the media would die down. I am hoping Behanan is not going to be suspended indefinitely, due to the fact that he is one of the fans’ favorite players. He is a cardinal. We all hope to see #21 appear at the Yum Center, once again, to bring home another championship title.