Don’t Go A Day Without Social Insurance

When we get sick, we have health insurance. If we break a tooth, we have dental insurance. To protect our loved ones in the case of a terrible accident, there’s life insurance.

Most of us wouldn’t go a day without having these safety nets below us. But your company is flying blind if you don’t have a form of social insurance to protect it!

Just what is social insurance? Every time you go online, you risk potentially offending or upsetting millions of people all at once. And these people are all folks who keep you in business by giving you money for your products and services.

All it takes is one mistyped or misunderstood tweet and things will go crazy very quickly. Suddenly, your loyal fans are clamoring for your blood. But it wouldn’t have happened if you had social insurance.

How does it work?

Social insurance isn’t something you can go out and grab at an insurance company or even at Wal-Mart. This type of insurance only comes with careful planning and foresight into your social media world.

Last year, Red Cross experienced a Twitter debacle. One of their employees, Gloria Huang, mistakenly sent out a tweet from the Red Cross account instead of her personal account. No problem, right? Unfortunately, this particular tweet involved drinking copious amounts of alcohol, namely brewhouse Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer.

Without social insurance, Red Cross may have gotten into major trouble. Although many people drink alcohol, it’s not something you necessarily want a respected health organization to tweet about.

Knowing this, however, helped Director of Social Strategy of Wendy Harman enact her plan. She knew if she tried to just erase the tweet it may cause further scandal, and if she treated it super seriously it might get overblown.

So instead she deleted the initial email but acknowledge it with a short jibe, “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”

And just like that, the crisis was averted. People laughed, retweeted, and moved on. It even led to a surge in blood donations and sales for Dogfish Head!

All Part of the Plan

Having a plan for what to do during a crisis ahead of time goes a long way. If Harman hadn’t been fully aware of what her options were, she may have made a huge mistake. That stray tweet could have led to a big PR disaster for Red Cross instead of the donation bonanza it turned into.

Do you have a plan? People make mistakes all the time; it’s part of being human. The only thing we can hope to do is react fast enough to ward off any lasting effects the mistake causes. If an employee does what Huang did and tweets something potentially hazardous from the wrong account, will you be able to react in enough time to make the best of a bad situation?

What would be the first step of your social insurance plan?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here:

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