Daemon Digital

Crisis Management: A Legal Perspective

Posted on 21. Jul, 2010 by in Social Media

Last night I attended the 5th Digital Citizens event “Crisis and reputation management”. The panel consisted of guest speakers Matthew Gain (Digital PR Practitioner, Edelman), Rachael Falk (Lead Legal Advisor on social media issues, Telstra) and Jonathan Nguyen (Digital Strategist, Ogilvy) with Karalee Evans (Social Strategy Manager, Amnesia) as MC.

The panel had a good mix of experience from differing sectors which made for some interesting insights into crisis management. Matthew talked about his experience with Microsoft in the UK. Rachael gave her view from a legal perspective on social media issues within Telstra. Jonathan discussed the work he’s done, managing digital crisis for larger customers, including working with BP in the North American market.

The legal insights, from inside Telstra’s social media issues, that Rachael provided were particularly interesting. Starting with this great quote:

Rachel went on to make some interesting points on what social media teams should consider, from her legal perspective:

  • Remember that it’s important for lawyers to be objective in crisis situations.
  • Educate lawyers in the digital space and involve them, this will help to breach the digital divide.
  • Be honest with lawyers in regards to what won’t work in the social space and what won’t be relevant for the audience.
  • Ensure that social media crises are solved by a core team and not an email chain of 50 people.
  • When solving issues ask: What’s the problem? What’s being said? What’s our response?
  • Remain intimate and honest as a brand.
  • Maintain a good working environment by including and collaborating with the legal team, not avoiding them, this will lead to more social wins.
  • Keep in mind that social media is counterintuitive to lawyers. Learning to downplay issues must be learnt as they naturally want to put you in a place which is safe in regards to messaging.

It was very refreshing to hear a legal take on the benefits of collaborating with the social media team, within a company, and it left the audience with lots to think about. For full coverage of the event you can see the blog stream provided by @beaney.

Thanks to the Digital Citizens (#Digicitz) crew for another great event. I’m already looking forward to the next one.

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