Back in January, I witnessed the first situation where I had to come up with a “crisis communication” plan(in a sense) at work. Crisis communication is when you have to evaluate a situation and come up with a plan on how to communicate the situation to an audience. In Public Relations situations, this occurs when a company incurs a crisis that needs to be effectively communicated to the public. The public can be the rest of the company employees or just simply the general public.
In this case, a series of political activists had been trying to get a rise out of businesses on Twitter.
Breitbart News is a website that was accused of posting false news. Due to the fact that we are a gun range, often our advertisement purchases show up on conservative websites due to a large amount of firearm enthusiasts frequenting those sites. Unfortunately, we do not choose which sites our ad buys show up on, Google chooses that through a series of complicated metrics and audience analysis.
Seeing as our company is relatively new, we don’t have a super large following on Twitter yet, so I was worried about the number of impressions this had received. I alerted our general manager and along with our outside marketing company, we formulated a plan. We researched that this twitter account was made only to make posts like the one above and would not pose us any threats. We froze our ad buys with Breitbart through Google and effectively buried the tweet. We have not heard from the company or anything since. We are a range that focuses on reaching women and minorities, so we definitely did not want our customers to think that we supported any messages otherwise.