How to defend your brand reputation before, during and after a crisis

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What You’ll Learn:: 

The old days of being able to ignore the armies of trolls outside the crenellated walls of your organization are gone.

“There’s a massive hole in the castle wall, and anyone out there can come in, hurt your brand and leave and be OK with it,” says Peter LaMotte, senior vice president and chair of digital practice at LEVICK.

The good news: Brand threats are preventable if you make a plan, review it regularly, and hold your people accountable for it.

LaMotte, who helps organizations weather major crises and come out on top, will teach you how to survive the storms that every brand has to face. You’ll learn how to:

  • Listen—and convince the public you hear their concerns
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your crisis communications plan
  • Track and analyze social media mentions, including impressions, reach, and website traffic and traditional mentions (this will take longer)
  • Monitor social media for harmful viral messages so you can respond
  • Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to manage the crisis and perhaps save your brand with a powerful counter-offensive
  • Rebuild confidence among important stakeholders following a crisis

At a loss when the crisis hits? Plan. LaMotte tells you how. Learn why you need the right face for your organization—and what went wrong in communications following the deadly train derailment in Quebec.

Your hot-headed CEO may not be your organization’s best face. When a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train derailed, the CEO thought he was doing the right thing when he rushed to the affected town in Quebec, LaMotte says. Find out why this was a mistake—particularly when he started blaming the firemen and the media.

Learn why you should monitor not only trolls, but allies, and discover what the White House social media team knows about keeping tabs on both the left and the right.

While the Internet is full of grumblers, “it’s also filled with your biggest brand advocates, your best clients, and, honestly, your greatest defenders,” LaMotte says.

Find out why you must keep an eye on related social media accounts, so your CEO doesn’t blithely tweet about his sports team while the ship goes down.

Hear how hashmarks can tell you whether an issue is worth responding to.

Watch for themes. It’s a customer service issue when one guy tweets, “I hate you: My cable just went out.” When the messages spread across thousands of social media users, you have a crisis.

“You need to decide whether you have a major problem on hand, or whether you’re talking about just a customer service issue,” LaMotte says.

Monitor the right keywords, not just your name. What other keywords should you be watching for?

“You know better than anyone what that fire is going to be,” LaMotte says.

Draw lessons from other crises. And find out how to use content to rebrand.

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September 2013

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Presenter bio: 

Peter LaMotte is senior vice president and chair of digital practice at LEVICK. LaMotte leads the award-winning digital team at LEVICK, bringing the richest, most diverse digital talent and resources to bear on behalf of clients worldwide. He counsels Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and government agencies on digital and social media strategies that change the online conversation and protect valued brands. A proven leader in the digital marketing and advertising industry, LaMotte crafts and directs campaigns for crisis communications and issues management, often working directly with corporate boards and top executives under fire.