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  • Writer's pictureCrisis Shield

How to Manage a Crisis Tip #001: How to use Facebook Live to Respond to a Crisis [Video]

What is Facebook Live Streaming?

Facebook Live – like Twitter’s Periscope - gives users the ability to start video streams from their phone and broadcast them live to the world.

Simply open the Facebook app on your smartphone, click on Status, and then click the live video icon. Whatever you film now will be live broadcast to the world.

What does this mean for organisations and crisis management?

It means social media is now first on scene.

As soon as an incident occurs at your organisation, any Joe Bloggs can immediately broadcast what’s going on to the entire world - well before traditional media arrive. And sometimes even before your security or staff arrive.

Someone sitting in the living room on the other side of the world may well be watching a crisis unfold at your organisation before you’re even aware of it.

Is Facebook Live Streaming bad news for crisis managers and communicators?

Only if you let it be.

My advice is to look at how you could use Facebook Live and Twitter’s Periscope to actually HELP you manage a crisis.

Two examples of how you could use it:

  1. These news social tools mean your CCTV network just got a massive upgrade and expansion. You now have thousands of mobile cameras scattered across your organisation. Use one of the many social media monitoring services and tools to alert your security or comms team when people start streaming from your organisation. When a crisis occurs, allocate someone from your security or comms to monitor all of the streams coming from your location. They may pick up some valuable information. When there was an active shooter alert and mass evacuation of LAX airport last week, live streams immediately popped up all around the airport.

  2. Because of the enormous reach of these streams/broadcasts, why not use it to get your own message out there? Show the world that your enacting your crisis response procedures. Have your Critical Incident Manager or Spokesperson update the world on what’s going on and how you’re handling it. I’d be extremely impressed and instilled with confidence if I saw that from an organisation leader. I’d listen to every single word.

If an organisation spokesperson used Facebook Live in a crisis, what should they include in their message?

Simple. Just follow the Briggs Communications Crisis Response Model.

5 simple things to include in your message:

  1. Establish the facts

  2. Tell everyone what you know right now

  3. Tell them what you don’t know yet

  4. Tell them what you’re doing about it

  5. Tell them what you’d like them to do (and where to go for further updates)

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