You can downgrade Presidential tweets in your crisis plan!

    

crisis-plan

We are often concerned in this blog with alerting you to new threats that should be included in your crisis plan.

Just occasionally, our job is to let you know of an issue that appears to be receding and can be downgraded in your plan.

In February 2017 we reported that PR agencies were earning big fees preparing response strategies in case their clients were named in a Presidential tweet.

GM, Nordstrom and others had, at that time, faced the swings and roundabouts of social media (and the stock market) after being the subject of a tweet from the White House.

One 160-character tweet could wreak havoc on an organization. Any organization or individual needed to be prepared to manage the fallout from a presidential social media critique.

We were so concerned that we devoted a whole blog to sharing expert tips on how you should react should you or a client be named in a tweet.

So, in 2019, is it still necessary to have a crisis plan for a presidential tweet storm?

According to The New York Times, probably not.

In March, The Times published an article, “How Companies Learned to Stop Fearing Trump’s Twitter Wrath”.

This article suggests that in the past the immediate impact of a tweet from the President was to sink a company’s stock price.  

However, analysts say that in 2019 a similar tweet, “merely injects a bit of noise into the market”.

In 2017 companies responded to the President’s tweets directly, quickly and forcefully. More recently, many companies, including General Motors and Amazon, have chosen to entirely ignore the president’s negative tweets with little to no repercussions.

Not to brag, but in our 2017 blog, we suggested to not assume you have to respond to every threat or demand made in a tweet (by the President or anyone else). It appears that this tactic has been utilized by many companies and met with great success.

It appears that the American public has become desensitized to the impact of President’s tweets due to the rate at which the tweets are released.

The Times article describes this as “tantrum congestion”.

Organizations risk drawing more negative attention to their brand by responding than was the threat from the original tweet.

In two years, the potential crisis of a presidential tweet has decreased dramatically demonstrating the ever-evolving world of crisis planning.

When you reach for your smartphone to access and activate your crisis plan via the In Case of Crisis app, the response protocols have to be up-to-date. Plans require regular updating, as risks may dissipate, as others increase.

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About The Author

Mike Hatcliffe is founder and president of The Hatcliffe Group, a reputation, issues and crisis consultancy. Previously, Mike spent nearly 25 years with two of the world's leading PR agencies. Most recently, he spent 10 years at Ogilvy, as managing director of its US corporate practice, and before that 14 years with Ketchum in both the US and the UK. Mike has worked on crisis and reputation assignments with a range of blue chip companies, leaders in their fields, including LG Electronics, Wells Fargo, Carlsberg, Zebra Technologies, CDW, Quintiles, Rockwell Automation, Unilever, Pepsico, Deloitte, Grant Thornton and HSBC.