How to Use Crisis Management Tools Effectively

How to Use Crisis Management Tools Effectively

How to Use Crisis Management Tools Effectively

Current Climate

Crisis management is being talked about more frequently than ever. You must have a crisis management plan whether it be using internal resources or external agencies/tools. Just ‘waiting to see what happens’ is not good enough anymore. This applies to all industries.

In this post we’ll explain why tracking your sentiment is important as well as tracking ‘what’ people are talking about. Within a crisis, topics of conversation change quickly as do problems and their solution, which you may or may not be able to help with.

Here we tracked the conversations surrounding our local NHS, you can see examples of negative conversation topics ‘protective’ versus positive ‘#clapforourcarers’. This visual illustrates how you could identify a common problem amongst conversations in order to try and offer your audience a solution.

key driving sentiment topic words

What is Crisis Management, and Why Does it Matter?

Crisis management involves identifying threats to an organisation or industry’s reputation. It is important for you to identify threats as early as possible in order to respond and reduce the longevity of a deficit in reputation.

How to Identify a Crisis?

One way to identity a crisis is tracking sentiment changes over time. You can then have a better understanding on what engages negative sentiment, theorise why, identify when and then work out how best to respond to it.

time series graph showing sentiment changes

Your response will be more sucessful if it uses content which appeals to your audience based on their psychometrics.

Driving factors on a scaleRight we show a target audience (dark green) benchmarked aganst the UK (light green). This shows that the target audience are typically more curious. You could use content which incorporates research-based content to resonate with the audience which may increase engagement.

Crisis management is an on-going process.

Crisis management is an on-going process of using social listening to identify threats, use the insights to implement effective responses, use social listening to review the responses and identify new threats and so on. About loyalty recently held a webinar illustrating the effects of Covid-19 on ‘giving’ according to their current sentiment tracking research. Using the results of their sentiment tracking, they put forward a crisis timeline. It is important to track sentiment changes when individuals enter the ‘blame’ stage. You can recognised as a hero or villain, so this is a time to manage your online reputation vigilantly.

crisis timeline


To put this into context, Radius Data Exchange released an article which states “Hero or villain actions will be remembered.” One example of a ‘hero’ in the article is John Lewis Partnership’s million-pound community support fund.  In contrast, villains were also mentioned too, for instance, when Wetherspoon’s told employees it would stop pay, there was an outcry online.


5 Tips on Crisis Management

There are many tools to manage crises but don’t get caught up in the fancy features and pretty pictures. We suggest you use a service/tool that benefits your organisation most by giving you the information that is key for you.

However, the following 5 tips on crisis management are applicable to almost any organisation and are a great starting point!


1. Track Sentiment Over Time

This allows you to see the changes in sentiment over time so you can narrow down when negative sentiment peaks to find out why.

In the below example you can see the cumulative deaths and cases of covid-19 alongside the mentions of NHS in our local area. This indicates the ‘buzz’ is slowly decreasing despite covid-19 cases increasing. This could indicate people moving into a different phase of the crisis.

graph showing Cumulative cases and deathsfrom covid-19

2. Track the Most Negative Engaging Posts

This insight shows you what is most engaging to the audience and which posts to focus your resources into responding to first.

In this example it would be most important to target the most-engaging negative posts. You could respond directly, contact the author or publish a post addressing the negativity, dependant on the context. negative social posts

3. Overlay Internal or Relevant External Data for Context

By using your own data, you can see how external social and online mentions are effecting your own organisaton’s KPIs. For instance, seeing if the negative mentions are effecting your sales. Similarly, you may overlay industry/economic data for necessary benchmarking. You may find unempolyment data useful when looking at sales and online mentions of your brand.

In the below example, we overlaid covid-19 cases and deaths over mentions of the NHS in the local area. You can see that the results increase when the cases do which implies a positive relationship with online mentions of NHS and covid-19 cases. This could imply that cases invokes more conversations than deaths.

graph showing Glos NHS and Cases and Deaths

4. Email Trigger Alerts

By having an email alert setup, you can stay in control and be notified instantly if there is an unusual change in sentiment. You can then review the posts which are driving negative sentiment in order to respond accordingly.

5. Plan

It is all well and good having the information, but you need to have a plan of action. Do you have a crisis team you can pass the information to? Are you equipped to deal with a crisis? You may want to invest some time into your planning and management.

Key Takeaway

Knowledge is Power. Stay in control by continued tracking of sentiment so you can identify threats and manage them. Tracking does not have to be exclusive to your organisation. Tracking economic changes, competitors sentiment and industry changes can be just as important or more so in some cases.

Key Takeaway

How can you fix the new problems arising in a crisis if you don’t know what they are? The problems change quickly in a time of crisis and you need to be ready to inform your audience and strengthen your trust.



What’s Next?

Get a free sentiment review for your brand… Submit your details below and we will be in touch to setup your report.

Sentiment time series graph


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