Social Media’s Role in Crisis Management

CU staff must use new technology intelligently to survive in today’s crisis-ridden ‘reputation economy.’

November 22, 2011
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Follow these best practices to use social media effectively:

• Include new technology and new media practices in daily routines. Set aside time, for example, to monitor social media channels for discussion about your credit union. This will help you detect and prevent potential risks that could become crises.

• Stimulate conversations about known issues with stakeholders. This gives members a chance to be heard. Ensure conversations are professional, proactive, and manageable.

• Connect with people proactively, before a crisis, to establish transparent relationships. This creates credibility and trustworthiness, and helps build social capital.

• Incorporate established business theories and elements. They still matter today.

• Be consistent across all social media platforms and traditional media outlets, especially during a crisis. Ensure the same content is quickly and easily accessible across all communication platforms.

• Create targeted messages for different media, audiences, and angles. Test possible scenarios in training, so you’ll know how to respond quickly and effectively.

• Remember: Using social media to establish a solid reputation is a long-term process. But crises can happen fast. Be prepared; small events and reactions do matter.

• Learn about new factors and implications in crisis communication. Training before a crisis can help you prepare to be more effective when it happens. Participate in regular crisis simulations with public relations professionals, government agency professionals, business owners, and others.

All members, staff, and volunteers are part of a credit union’s reputation, so all should know the risks, challenges, and opportunities of social media. Be prepared to use it effectively, especially during crisis situations.

LIBBY VERTZ is an intern in CUNA’s business-to-business publishing department. Contact her at 608-231-4096.

This article first appeared in Front Line Newsletter.

Social Media - A tool for Credit Unions to get better at Customer Service

Sankar Krishnan
November 29, 2011 9:35 am
Social Media and Social Media Analytics are two powerful tools that can be deployed for better and targeted success. Credit Unions have a great opportunity to replace banks with their community focus and dedication..

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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