By Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC
Tropical Storm and Hurricane Barry created a great opportunity this weekend for you to review your crisis communications strategies. Among them, strategically, are you using Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and other live social media channels to their full advantage when a natural disaster affects your organization and your customers? The power is right there in your hand with your cell phone.
I posted videos all weekend long as an example of how you can use this great live feature on social media platforms. Since 2011 I’ve been teaching public relations and customer service teams how to do what I do, such as in my training program called Weathering the Storm.
View more videos here on the Braudcast
What participants quickly learn is that shooting good, short videos… and especially live videos on your cell phone, is hard. It comes rather easily for me, because I was a television reporter for 15 years – I have lots of practice.
Here are 3 tips to help you communicate like an expert in critical times.
1) Practice – Do a test recording before you go live. Mess up in private so you don’t mess up live.
2) Be a brand journalist – manage the expectations of your employees and customers. Tell people your best case scenario and your worst case scenario when bad weather is approaching. Also, like a journalist, cover the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
3) Be brief and don’t overwhelm your audience with unnecessary details. I posted 10 videos to my BraudCast YouTube channel in the past few days. They range in length from one minute to three minutes. On my private Facebook page, I initially posted serious “news” style videos because friends and friends of friends wanted to know how bad the flooding was in our town of Mandeville, Louisiana.
Late Saturday and into the day Sunday, my videos transitioned to being more humorous and silly – mainly for my own amusement and the amusement of close friends. Humor has to be used sparingly in a corporate setting. When done properly, it is effective; when done poorly you can easily create a secondary crisis on social media. Be careful.
Once your videos are posted, you can then share them with reporters on Twitter. I also uploaded b-roll to my Google Drive to share with the media (to learn what b-roll is, read more here). Media coverage in our town increased as reporters from around the world saw my videos on YouTube and Twitter.
Would you like to become an on-camera live video expert? Call me at 985-624-9976 to book your training class.
Crisis communications and media training expert Gerard Braud, CSP, Fellow IEC is based in New Orleans. Organizations on five continents have relied on him to write their crisis communications plans and to train their spokespeople. He is the author of “Don’t Talk to the Media Until…”
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