Beyond Zika: 3 crisis PR tips

This summer we could see a spike in Zika—reminding organizations to upgrade their crisis plans, whether or not they’re in health care. Here are tactics for doing just that.

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These outbreaks are a wake-up call to upgrade your crisis plan before the next disaster strikes. Here are three quick tips for doing so:

1. Emulate Mountain View—build trust via social media. Use social media to develop trust with your stakeholders before a crisis occurs. Silicon Valley’s Mountain View Police Department does this especially well.

“The department uses social media every day to make deposits into its ‘bank of community trust,'” says Melissa Agnes, partner at crisis consultancy Agnes + Day and editor of the Crisis Intelligence Bog. “They realize social media is a constant medium of communication—it’s not just something they turn to during a crisis.”

The department, for example, will tweet out where its officers are handing out traffic tickets. It does this because giving tickets isn’t its goal—safety is.

“As a result, the community knows they can trust the police department when a real crisis occurs,” says Agnes, who adds that trust built on social media goes both ways.

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