10 basic tech skills every PR pro should know for a crisis

If a crisis strikes and your IT and/or Web team aren’t around, you—the communicator—will need these basic skills.


There are so many technical aspects of your social media crisis plan that need to be executed quickly and efficiently in a crisis.

If you’re equipped with a webmaster, IT professional, or in-house Web developer that’s great. However, one thing we know for sure about social media crises is that they tend to happen at the worst possible moments.

So what happens if your Web-savvy employee isn’t there that day? What happens if you absolutely need to stream your Twitter feed to your corporate website or add a new Facebook tab to your fan page, and no one is around to help you?

There’s so much stress involved in a social media crisis that you don’t need to add more to the list by being caught unprepared and unequipped.

The following is a checklist with basic tech and Web development skills that more than one person on your team should know before a crisis strikes.

Who should be capable of accomplishing all of these web tasks in a crisis?

• Your webmaster, in-house developer and/or your IT professional.
• Your designated crisis communicator (spokesperson).
• You! If you’re reading this post and aren’t one of the above individuals, then make sure you’re equipped with the following skill set as well.

Technical skill set you should equip yourself with before a social media crisis strikes:

1. How to stream your tweets, mentions, hashtags, and other Twitter elements to your corporate website (click here for Twitter help on how to do this).

2. How to create, add, and link banner ads to and from your corporate website.

3. How to update or replace your Twitter background.

4. How to upload videos and video responses to YouTube.

5. How to upload videos to your website and blog.

6. How to update your corporate website and blog

7. How to activate and edit your dark website.

8. How to add a custom tab to your Facebook fan page (click here for help on how to do this).

9. How to create and edit links (both text links and image links).

10. How to access and update your internal communication platform in real-time.

To complete this list, make sure the same individuals also have 24-7 access to the following service providers (including account IDs and passwords):

• Your hosting company;
• Your domain name account;
• An on-call Web developer (or two);
• An on-call graphic designer.

Whether or not you’re tech savvy, the last thing you want to be is left helpless and incompetent in a social media crisis. Equip yourself and your team with the basic development skills that are very likely to be needed and beneficial to you in a social media crisis. Then rest assured that if—and when—the worst happens, you’ll be fully capable of handling it.

Melissa Agnes is a social media crisis manager, speaker, and consultant. This story first appeared on MelissaAgnes.com.

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