Not long ago, our social media news feeds were flush with coverage of the United Airlines brand crisis. For those who came in late, a man (who had paid for his ticket) was forcefully dragged from his seat and hauled out of the plane as a consequence of an overbooking error made by the airline.
Here is the footage:
Almost immediately upon the scuffle breaking out, passengers began recording the incident on their phones. Clips began hitting the airwaves within minutes.
The way in which United handled the situation effectively turned the crisis into a full-blown disaster. No wonder its stock plummeted the following day.
One of the most important things a brand needs to understand about PR these days is that almost everyone has a camera in a pocket and the means to broadcast recordings of what they’re seeing to the entire world.
A webinar hosted by Hootsuite revealed that 28 percent of crises that major brands face spread internationally within the hour. With this in mind, companies need to be on top of developing issues and start damage control proceedings as soon as humanly possible. In a time when fast reactions can either spell life or death for a business, sticky situations must be handled very carefully.
Here are three essential actions to take.