Maritime & Transport

Interview: Planning for emergencies in social media communications

Many transport businesses are using social media in their communication mix. Social media channels enable two-way conversations, but they also add an element of volatility to corporate communications. How can organisations deal with emergency situations online? We had the chance to speak with Allan Briggs*, Managing Director at Briggs Communications about developing a social media plan as part of an organisational strategy.

We asked Allan the following questions:

1)       The immediacy of social media channels offers great potential for better customer information in critical situations. Yet, many transport companies struggle with the implementation. What do you see as the biggest inhibitor for a successful social media crisis communication strategy in large organisations?

2)       Why is it important to have a social media strategy for crisis situations?

3)       Do you think that the often short lived comments on social media can cause permanent brand damage? Why?

4)       How would you deal with an already heated online debate?

5)       Are there any early warning signs that indicate a coming social media crisis?

6)       You will be speaking at the inaugural Social Media in Transport conference. What discussion would you like to initiate with the transport industry?

*Allan Briggs has over 20 years experience in Communications specialising in emergency services, state and local government and utilities. Allan spent 16 years as an operational police officer with Victoria Police and ten years with the Media and Corporate Communications Department as Sergeant where he gained valuable experience in crisis media and media management. Allan was instrumental in crisis communications during the 2007 Gippsland floods, 2008 windstorm and 2009 Black Saturday fires. He will be a presenter at  Social Media in Transport 2013.

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