As Nicco Mele spoke to my Strategic Social Media class, he simplified something that could definitely be so complicated. He made accomplishing well thought-out crisis communication as easy as choosing 1, 2, or 3.
1. Attack the attacker. An example from Mele’s experience was when Susan G. Komen decided to cut breast cancer screenings through Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood sent out an email to everyone on its lists, saying how “shocked and saddened” it was. Planned Parenthood made Susan G. Komen take on the role of the attacker by “playing victim.”
2. Redirect the focus. You could use the example given above for this approach as well. Planned Parenthood started a Tumblr with women explaining how it had saved their lives. This redirected the focus from controversial abortions associated with the organization to much needed breast cancer screenings.
3. Refute. Mele explained when the viral email regarding Obama’s supposed Kenyan heritage was sent out, his immediate reaction was to refute the claims. After repeatedly being asked to release his birth certificate by Donald Trump, Obama finally publicized the documents to end all rumors. He even handled it with a little humor by showing the Lion King opening scene at the Gridiron Dinner, trump was an attendant.
Thanks Nicco for all the helpful tips!