Social Media Preparedness Plays a Crucial Role When a Company Faces a Crisis

ESIS, a risk management services provider and subsidiary of Chubb, has issued an advisory to help companies prepare for and manage a crisis that unfolds across social media.

Authored by Lori Brassell-Cicchini, Vice President of ESIS Catastrophe Services, the advisory, “When Catastrophes ‘Go Viral’,” explores various tenets of social media communication during a crisis, including the ever-increasing chance that a company-related fire, explosion, or other disaster is captured on film and rapidly and broadly disseminated across social media before the company is even aware of the incident. The other real risk is that information shared via social channels may be inaccurate or simply false. To avoid suffering from serious and potentially irrevocable damage to their brand, companies need to plan and prepare for how they will communicate via social media if a catastrophe occurs.

“Social media has transformed the way information is consumed by the media and the public – we no longer have to wait for the evening news to receive up-to-date information. Therefore, companies are not afforded the luxury of time to prepare and deliver public statements,” said Ms. Brassell-Cicchini. “In order to counter the rapid spread of potential misinformation, companies need to develop a nimble, comprehensive social media plan that can be deployed immediately in a time of crisis. In addition, they should consider insurance that provides coverage for experienced public relations catastrophe management services to protect their corporate reputation. When a disaster is handled in a timely and accurate manner, companies can boost their reputation and take control of their image.”

The advisory, which can be read here, offers the following tips and steps for responding to and addressing a catastrophe via social media:

  • Review the current corporate communications plan to identify its limitations regarding social media.
  • Develop a detailed social media crisis management plan, including assigning roles and responsibilities to specific staff.
  • Prepare a response by organizing some information ahead of time that can be published when a crisis actually occurs.
  • Monitor and test the social media plan to see where snags may occur, and to address questions that may be unanswered.
  • Preserve the corporate reputation and consider insurance coverage that mitigates the cost of public relations counsel and social media consulting.

About ESIS

Organized in 1953, ESIS, Inc. (ESIS) provides customized risk management services. ESIS is a Chubb company. Chubb is the marketing name used to refer to subsidiaries of Chubb Limited providing insurance and related services. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.new.chubb.com. Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance group. With operations in 54 countries, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance, life insurance and related services to a diverse group of clients. Chubb Limited, the parent company of Chubb, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information about Chubb can be found at new.chubb.com. Additional information about ESIS, Inc. and its products and services can be found at www.esis.com.

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