A crisis can send a church into a frenzy if there is not an organized plan that is enacted with careful consideration. Whether it is a National Emergency, like the Coronavirus that we are currently living, or dealing with the infidelity of a church leader, these tips for handling a crisis on Social Media can help you stay ahead of the game.
- Have a plan - This is an overarching plan that involves not only your social media but your emails, platform announcements, and any other means of communication you might use with your church body.
- Educate and Equip Your Staff - Educating your staff first on the plan and the tools that they can use to support your plan will increase the odds of successfully communicating your message. For social media, this may mean providing captions and graphics for your staff to share on their personal social media channels or sharing links to posts that they can re-share.
- Post Often - Just because you post it once doesn’t mean that everyone has seen the message. In the case of a need to cancel services for hurricanes or other national emergencies, you may need to post 2-3 times before the cancelled service as well as include the information in your stories on Instagram and Facebook consistently over the 4-5 days leading up to the cancelled service.
- Develop Standard Responses - Creating canned answers to questions that church members might have will help you and your team respond quickly and concisely with a consistent message. First, consider what questions might come your way (do this with a few people around a table so that you get as many perspectives as possible). Then create the answers and make them available to everyone on your team that might need to be armed with these answers, perhaps even consider publishing them on your website.
- Be Flexible - As with any stressful situation there will arise a need to pivot the plan and change course. Be ready and act early should the need arise. Reevaluate your standard responses above to reflect the current situation.
- Be Patient and Prayerful - A crisis situation can bring out the worst in people and it is important to be prayerful about the conversations that you have and be patient with those who might be responding from an emotional state - they need your spiritual leadership more than anyone.
If you need some help in developing your standard responses or some quick graphics to share with your staff, schedule a time for free to talk with me using the "Quick Questions" appointment here.