3 ways to detect a digital PR crisis early

An online firestorm can erupt any moment. Here are three tips for identifying—and quelling—small brouhahas before they spiral into all-out catastrophes.

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Want to protect your brand from Internet attacks? Want to quash social media rumors and protect your corporate reputation?

Good news: You can detect social media crises—before they happen, says James E. Lukaszewski, president of The Lukaszewski Group Division of Risdall Public Relations. Here are three quick tips for doing just that:

1. Create a SMART team. Social media monitoring is your most important defensive mechanism when it comes to online crisis management, says Lukaszewski. He warns that it’s not enough to simply use monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, Radian6 or Oracle SRM.

He suggests creating a Social Media Attack Response Team to notice and act on telltale crisis signs early: “The team should include staff with Web search skills and those already managing your social media. Provide them with key terms, brand names, people names and hashtags to search for on a scheduled basis.”

In addition to regular Google and social network searches, Lukaszewski also recommends searching sites like Technorati and BlogSearchEngine.org.

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