The sessions that interested me the most were on social media policies/guidelines and crisis communications. (I suppose being in school public relations, I'd gravitate to these two areas of concern since knowledge in these areas is often needed.)
Below are 8 key takeaways from these two sessions:
Legal Policies for Social Media Communicators
presented by Whitney Presley, Sr. Director of Digital Communications, American Heart Association
- There's a difference between social media policies and guidelines: policies protect the organization and employee while guidelines should give the rules for how to behave.
- Create commenting/posting disclaimer for networks and define difference between personal/professional use of social media and social networks for the organization's perspective.
- Check the Social Media Governance website for examples of corporate and nonprofit social media policies or the online Policy Tool for Social Media to get started.
- What makes a good social media guideline/policy for an organization? According to Presley, those that at their core tell employees to be honest, stay on message, and don't be stupid. (I'll add organizations should also look into implementing a social media gatekeeper system to keep the properties within their proper control.)
Crisis Communication:A crash course that leads to developing a crisis plan
presented by Jacqueline Lambiase, Ph.D., Texas Christian University
- In a crisis, you must determine audience awareness: media relations, community relations, employee relations among the top concerns.
- Develop realistic (and reassuring) messages based on audience concerns.
- Establish credibility with fast honesty.
- Get pre-approved for some “boilerplate” messaging, press releases, information bulletins, safety warnings, and apologies. (Example used of airlines with pre-written initial press releases for plane crashes that only require flight number and locations which is a little disturbing even if it is efficient.)
[Check out Jacqueline's presentation slides over on Slideshare for some additional tips, tactics, and thoughts on crisis communication.]