Spiraling Down the Five Stages of Crisis Management

Yeah… it happens. Plan for it.

According to Regina Luttrell’s book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “A 2013 survey revealed that more than 28 percent of reported crises spread internationally within an hour, and over two-thirds spread within the first twenty-four hours” (pg.157).

Five Stages of Crisis Management 

Konrad Palubicki from Edelman Digital in Seattle, Washington, developed five key stages to crisis management on the social sphere, they are follows:

  1. Prepare in advance.
  2. Isolate the origin.
  3. Evaluate the impact.
  4. Mitigate the crisis.
  5. Learn from the crisis.

It is so vital that your company follows all five steps, if/when a crisis occurs and you’re not prepared in advance you could ruin the reputation of your company for a long time… even forever in the eyes of some.

1. Prepare in Advance

EVERY EMPLOYEE WITHIN A COMPANY NEEDS TO BE AWARE OF WHAT THE COMPANY’S CRISIS PLAN IS… That’s right every company should pre-crisis plan. According to Regina Luttrell’s book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “Author and crisis communication professor Kathleen Fearn-Banks suggests creating a crisis communication plan. The plan should list the individuals on the crisis management team, generate a crisis audit, and develop key messages, objectives, procedures, and specific guidelines” (pg. 160).

All so true. Preparing a filled crisis communication plan creates no room for questions of what to do when the time comes. You need to react quickly, as soon as possible, really. IF you aren’t prepared you’re going to leave the public to fill in the blanks themselves and that can get UGLY.

In my opinion, crisis communication plans should be MANDATORY in every company.

2. Isolate the Origin

Controlling the crisis situation is SO important. Your company wants to be the one behind the wheel steering the direction of the car… don’t let the car drive off of a cliff.

How do you do this? First and foremost, your company needs to analyze and fully understand the root cause of the crisis, this helps determine if it is a social media crisis and also helps decide what the proper steps are to cleaning up the mess as immediately and accurately as possible.

3. Evaluate the Impact

Regina Luttrell says, “There are two primary audiences during a crisis- those directly affected and those whose attitudes about the company could be influenced” in her book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect (pg. 160).

There are several ways to evaluate. According to, enterprisers project.com, these are some tactics to use when dealing with your company’s response to the public:

  • Identify obstacles and remove them fast
  • Don’t exhibit panic, stress or loss of control
  • Exhibit urgency in your body language. Don’t shuffle around
  • Find reasons to celebrate small successes and communicate them far and wide
  • Agree on deadlines for action

I would agree. All of these tactics are useful and will definitely help your customer service thrive, reaching out to the public during a crisis is important. Again, we cannot let them come up with their own assumptions and let them be stuck thinking of the company’s reputation in a negative way. If a company waits too long to respond they open the door for consumers to think this way.

4. Mitigate the Crisis

I keep saying this but it is so important, the quicker the response, the better chance at blowing out the fire of the crisis. One of the rules of crisis management is to, “stop the bleeding.”

Once the “bleeding” stops, your company should turn it’s focus to what social channels they should continue sending out messages. I’ve always said you should respond to both negative and positive comments from your consumers, it’s important to take in what both sides are saying and let them know you hear them out- good or bad. This is especially important during crisis. You’re bound to get some of the harshest remarks from the public after a crisis hits but you need to respond and respond honestly. It’s best to be upfront regardless if it’s not positive message you wish. In the end, being honest is going to help you more than lying and digging yourself deeper into the whole.

Gregory Ciotti, writer of The Right (and Wrong) Way to Handle a Company Crisis, says, “saying “I’m sorry” is more about being apologetic that the customer’s experience wasn’t the best it could be, and that’s always worth conveying.

While saying “I’m sorry” may seem like the right thing to say… it’s only right if you put some emotion into it. You have to mean it.

Don’t stop refreshing your social channels after you think you’ve reached out to people. Even if people aren’t responding to your company’s posts, you still need to continue to update your channels and show you’re still making an effort.

5. Learn From the Crisis

“All crises are learning opportunities” says Regina Luttrell in her book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect (pg.162). Crisis is not something that we all want to look forward to but it is something we HAVE to look forward to. No, seriously. We need to plan for this, remember stage 1?

We must learn from the crisis and move forward with it. By analyzing the crisis at hand we are able to help prevent similar future crises- something we should all do.


If you didn’t realize how important crisis management is, I hope you have after reading this blog post! Do you think it’s more important to respond immediately on a social media channel or wait it out a little longer so you can publicly address it at a conference open to the public?

Leave your answer in a comment below!


A PR Nightmare in 140 Characters or Less


On October 25th, I was given the opportunity to sit down and have a long discussion with Peter Codella regarding his Tweet about Theresa Payton, a speaker at the PRSSA International Conference in Indianapolis:

“Thersa Payton, former White House CIO, speaking at #PRSAicon (maybe don’t wear a shirt that keeps us distracted wondering what’s visible).” The Tweet was accompanied by a photo of Payton that was taken during her talk.

Codella is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and serves as District Chair and District Council Secretary for PRSA North Pacific District.

As many would assume, Twitter did not let this go unnoticed. Codella received plenty of responses, and was the talk of the PR world for the next few days. I reached out to him, and he agreed to a phone interview.

Q1: Do…

View original post 1,559 more words

Relevance of YouTube

Yeah… It’s Still Relevant and You Should Take Advantage of it. 

Shocking, I know. But, yes, YouTube is still very much relevant today. While the buzz of SM seems to be Twitter or Facebook these days we often forget how YouTube is such a key part of SM too. I, at least am guilty of doing so. That is, until I read Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect by Regina Luttrell.


While all of the book is really informing on social media… and how to engage, share and connect through it (see what I did there)  Chapter Eight: Video (pg. 141-156) discusses the key components to running a successful Youtube channel. According to Regina Luttrell’s book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “Approximately two hundred million people, or roughly 76 percent of the online population, will be consistently viewing video using online platforms in just a few short years” (pg. 141). Published in 2015, a year later and we can already see how videos on SM has began to boom- from the new Facebook live option to Periscope.


Photo Courtesy of: prnewsonline

Wait… What is YouTube?

Because I’ve learned throughout my college career that not everyone is on the same social media, I think it’d be best to give a background on what YouTube is… because, well, yes, believe it or no someone out there has never used YouTube (if that someone is you, don’t be ashamed- just step up your SM game).

Regina Luttrell describes YouTube in Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect as, “a search engine, promotional platform, a social network, and a community site with a loyal relationship. One unique feature that YouTube boasts is the ability to create branded channels” (pg. 146-147).

Channels? What are these channels I speak of? Channels are in a sense a users “profile” that allow you to upload videos, display favorite videos from other users, your activity streams, comments, subscribers, and other social networking features.

Prnewswire  discusses how YouTube is now the #1 brand among U.S. kids ages 6-12. The article goes onto say, “The brand fits perfectly into today’s mobile- and tablet-savvy children’s lives, giving them the content they want when they want it. No viable competitor is delivering the clips, cheats, trailers, tutorials, shows, music videos and more that YouTube is—and at no charge.” Yep, that’s right- Youtube=FREE… a college students favorite word.


Photo Courtesy: economistgroup

Youtube and Companies- How to Make the Most of it

Take it from Regina Luttrell as she stated in Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “YouTube does offer an upgrade to its channel services that help public relations and social strategists further maintain company branding. Users can benefit from this by accessing templates that can be customized and personalized to complement other social sites, the company website, and even printed collateral material” (pg. 147).

There are so many ways that a company can use YouTube to their advantage. YouTube videos can be watched worldwide, thus reaching audiences all over- even if they aren’t in the same country you’ve posted it from.

You can also make your company seem more personal by running a YouTube channel for it.  For example, uploading videos of your company doing community outreach work or what a “day in the office” may look like. Videos like this would make the consumer feel like an “insider” so to speak and be it’ll also give them the opportunity to see things themselves instead of having to visualize it off of what they may hear or read.

Another way your company can boom from using YouTube is as Regina Luttrell said in Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “YouTube channels afford the opportunity for companies to engage and further shape formidable relationships with their audiences using an environment that consumers know and trust” (pg. 147). Because YouTube is pretty well known and reliable consumers are more likely to trust you on this network than an unpopular source- it’s important to stick to SM that your target audience is familiar with and uses.

The website, business.qld.gov discusses benefits of YouTube for businesses. One benefit they discuss is YouTube allows for businesses to solve customers’ problems. They say, “Some businesses use YouTube to provide solutions for their customers. For example, they post videos demonstrating how to install their product, or ‘screen capture’ tutorials showing how to use their software.” I use YouTube ALL the time for tutorial videos on products I’m not familiar with. I never really realized how this helps from a business standpoint but after looking deeper into it I see how it makes the company look good and draw-in more consumers.


Photo Courtesy: truth.biz

Have I Convinced You Yet?

If you don’t already have a YouTube account I highly encourage you to create one, whether it be for personal use or a company, or both! Check it out for yourself, YouTube.


Leave your comments below!

What’s the point of a blog anyway?

No, but really, is it beneficial for a company to run one of these things?


Before going into the public relations field I never really realized how important it was for companies to take total control of social media for their advantage. Now, I can fully see the use for companies to use social media but more specifically a blog.

Regina Luttrell’s book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect says, “Company social networking sites are established to engage with consumers, not bombard them with how great the company is” (p. 54). BINGO. That is exactly what company blogs should be used for.

But what makes a blog so ‘grand’? 

I’m glad you asked! There are a LOT of things that make up a good blog. As mentioned above one of the main things to remember when working on a company blog is not to become overly-obsessive with your company. You should never make the consumer feel like all your company is out to do is get your money… remember folks customer service matters!

Plus, if you create a successful blog it’s going to draw in more audience. An article featured on Hubspot.com called, Why Blog? The Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing written by, Corey Wainwright says, “Benefits of Blogging for Business and Marketing says, “Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search.” AKA get more traffic flowing to your blog and in the end you could profit.

In the book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, Regina Luttrell discusses the “SoMe model” which stands for, Share, optimize, Manage, engage. SoMe is a circular model for social communication. Luttrell says, “In keeping up with a more simplistic approach to understanding the application of social media planning, the Circular Model of SoMe for Social Communication is based on the fundamentals supporting the clue train manifesto and Grunig’s two-way symmetrical model of communication” (p.40).



I believe every blog should follow the circular model of SoMe for social communication in order to keep their blog a success with consumers.


The SoMe model section Share emphasizes on the importance of connecting with your audiences through participation, connections and building trust. Regina Luttrell writes in her book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “Social Media through social networks help people connect with others who share similar interests, passions, and beliefs” (p. 41).

It’s so important for a company blog to share their own interests- what they enjoy doing as a company. The key here is to hopefully find similar interests between employees and consumers.

Want to see a good company blog who is extremely successful with the “Share” section of the SoMe model? Click here.

Starbucks does a phenomenal job in connecting with their consumers on a personal level. They share personal stories which make the reader feel empowered that they know insiders of Starbucks on a personal level.

In order to build the trust of the consumers the blog must make them feel “safe”. By this I mean the blog should include an “about me” section. Let the consumer know where it all began, where you are now and the in-between details. Earn their trust.


The SoMe model section optimize is all about listening and learning by taking part in authentic conversations. Regina Luttrell writes in her book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “To optimize its message, an organization must listen to what is being said and learn from the conversation being shared” (p. 42).

This is when that comment section comes into play. If your blog doesn’t have an option for your audience to leave a comment… well you mine as well delete your blog and find a new profession. (maybe that was a bit harsh but you get the point, right?)


Photo Courtesy of: ratereview.vermount.gov

It’s so important to listen to what your consumers are saying. Yes, I realize that it’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows in your feedback but hearing out those angry consumers is just as important. As my classmate, Mike Doute says, “no one likes fluff”. You want to hear out any problem going on, this could help your company in the future. We learn from our mistakes. Be a listening ear.


The SoMe model section Manage focuses in on real-time interactions with quick responses through media monitoring. Regina Luttrell writes in her book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “Conversations occurring on social sites happen quickly, in a matter of seconds in fact. Consumers have come to expect quick responses and answers from public relations practitioners and social media strategists who manager online presence” (p. 43).

This is why those commentary boxes are so important! Blogs need to be able to give the consumer a voice and the opportunity for you to respond. Social media dashboards are key to running a companies social media, you want to try and respond to as many consumers as possible.

It’s also extremely important that someone manages the blog and is keeping it updated. According to an article on forbes.com called, The Top 10 Benefits Of Blogging On Your Website written by, Jason DeMers, “An active blog sends a signal that your business is alive and well, loved and maintained.” Agreed. Consumers want this.

A good example of a company blog that is constantly updating their blog (typically twice a week at minimum) is, Whole Foods Market! Check them out yourself.


The SoMe model section engage is all about influencing relations- where is the audience? How do you reach them? Regina Luttrell’s writes in her book, Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, “Engaging in conversations with your consumers and influencers is the most critical component to a social strategy” (p. 43).

With the endless amount of social media websites out there along with the infinite amount of blogs you need to set yours apart from the rest and draw audience members in. By being friendly and responding to consumers when they’re reaching out to you (whether it’s for the good or bad) you’re showing you’re engaged.

Make your blog accessible and welcoming by allowing those to sign up for email subscriptions. This is usually common on blogs and sometimes the first thing that pops up when you go to a blog site. I used to get annoyed when this happened but now I see the reason for it and always fill in my email.

Remember, not everyone blogs but if you create a blog that has many different features you can bring in those audience members that would once turn away. Features that would draw consumers in could be, participation engagement, widgets and apps, events online/offline, etc.

I’ve given you some incite on how to run a successful company blog but maybe you won’t get to that position for quite sometime. A good start place is creating your own blog, right here on Word Press! Take advantage of this site, start writing and gain some audience.

Don’t forget to follow my blog while you’re here!

My question for you is, what’s your favorite blog that you’ve come across?

Mine is definitely, Whole Foods Market Place!



Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Are You Working with Journalist or Against Them?

Who knew that going into the field of journalism also meant you would be signing your life away?… and no I’m not just talking about your social life… but your actual life.


A Pakistani photojournalist runs for cover as a car set on fire by angry Shiite Muslim mob burns in the background during clashes in Karachi, 01 June 2004.                      AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD                                            Photo/Caption Courtesy of CPJ.org

According to CPJ.org, the total number of journalists deaths in 2016 is already at 48 with the latest reported death occurring on August 22.

When I realized how much journalists give up for their career I realized I could never be in the profession. From often times missing an important function in their child’s life due to spending endless hours in the office reporting to stepping into unfamiliar communities which could endanger their lives.

Wait… I’m not trying to scare you away from the profession… WE NEED YOU JOURNALISTS! I give credit where credit is due and I have to give major credit to those who can manage it all, a social life and a career in journalism.

Who Are the Men and Women Who Have Sacrificed for a Story in the News?

One man is James Foley- the reason I even had the idea to blog about this topic.


Photo Courtesy of abcnews.com

James Foley  was an American journalist and video reporter who was working for GlobalPost (at the time) as a freelance war correspondent during the Syrian Civil War. Personally, I think he knew his job was pretty dangerous, especially going into Syria at such dramatic times. However, I don’t believe he ever thought his life would end in the tragic way it did. On November 22, 2012, Foley was kidnapped and held as a prisoner until decapitated… and to make matters worse, it was filmed and then used as a threat towards the USA to stop sending Americans over.

It’s evident Foley was passionate about his job I mean he willingly went to war zones to create a story that we sat safely at home reading.

Why Are You Blogging On a Story That Happened Years Ago…?

I’m going to assume some of you are curious why I am writing on James Foley and the dangers of being a journalist. The answer to that:

With public relations as my major I see the importance of respecting the journalists you work with. I opened with a little background on journalism to show what they put on the line for their career, to gain a little appreciation. I know often times journalists can be seen as the “bully” because they can be all high-and-mighty. But, we, as public relations practitioners must work for a healthy relationship with our journalists and try to imagine being in their shoes, the pressure they also face, it’s not just us with the weight on our shoulders.


Photo Courtesy of http://bit.ly/2cFVEfs

In the book, ” Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect” by Regina Luttrell, she says, “It is the job of public relations professionals to build strong, mutually respectful relationships with journalists.” (pg. 6)


While you may think the field of journalism is dying out with the vast amount of social media, you may want to think again. Again, referring back to Regina Luttrell’s book, “Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect” she supports my statement by stating, “Publishers and Journalists are adapting just like the public relations professionals are. News outlets are striving to ensure that the content they produce is relevant for today’s audiences.” (pg. 66)

We’re all in this together… I was initially debating on adding a HSM meme after that but decided against it.

All in all I think it’s safe to say we should always work with our co-workers and never against, especially you public relations practitioners and journalists.

I’d like to end with this insert from spj.org‘s article, “A Dangerous Job” written by, Robert Leger, “Most people go the other way when firefighters rush into danger. Good journalists are driven to follow them, to get closer to truth, to show readers, viewers and listeners what is happening around them — and, in our own way, to fight for freedom.”

Thoughts? Feelings? Leave your comments below!

Seeing Yourself From the Outside In

What are people thinking of you after seeing the “virtual” you?


Is posting that kodak moment of you throwing that white ping-pong ball into the red solo cup worth posting for the world to see?

While it may be cool to those frat boys… it may not be so much for those companies looking at your social media before your interview.