Conducting Business in Crisis Situations
DIY Sprocket Solutions
On the 12th anniversary 9/11, I am reminded of the importance of compassion, respect, and validation not just from the every day Joe putting information out into the world, but also from the businesses, brands, etc. who are involved socially on the internet. Because there are times, both in life and in business, when we as people have to take a step back and assess the situation in front of us. We have to be cautious of our approach to sensitive situations and we have to remember that, although we are speaking through a brand, we are still speaking to other human beings during a very sensitive time.
Although I wish it weren't true, on a national and a global level there have been and will continue to be many tragedies that occur that affect us deeply. What can we, as brands with a social and public mouthpiece, do to make sure that we handle these situations with the sensitivity and compassion that they deserve? What is the right way to do business in a time of crisis? For the most part, I have seen most people and businesses conducting themselves with nothing but respect during times of tragedy. Unfortunately, it always seems as if there are a few brands that don't get it quite right. It's important in times like this to be extra cautious not to unintentionally offend.
As a company online, you can take steps to be adaptable. During a crisis, it's perfectly fine (and more acceptable) to acknowledge the events around you. Some would argue that it's extremely insensitive to go about conducting business in a normal way without acknowledging the magnitude of the event that has happened. I would encourage companies to cancel pre-scheduled messages that are set to go out and use your platforms instead to provide support and resources for those that need it. You should absolutely make sure that you are in no way newsjacking the event or taking any measures to capitalize on a tragedy. If you are going to be sending out messages during a crisis/tragedy, make sure you are being compassionate, sensitive, and informative. Remember that, just like you, people expect thoughtfulness during difficult times. Whether you're just a person, a small business, a huge brand, etc. We are all humans behind these computers and should all be aware of the impact that our words have on others.
If you have any other suggestions for how companies should conduct themselves during times of crisis, please comment below.