At WHIP Communications, we’re listening. We are deeply saddened by recent events and stand against the racial injustices embedded in our society. We continue to support organization who are acting as agents of change to ensure equity for all.
For the past few weeks, Americans have gathered together across the country to protest racism and police brutality after the murder of George Floyd. The public responded to Floyd’s murder with outrage and an outpouring of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Many business owners and CEOs might not know how to respond to current events on social media — especially recent events.
As we navigate into what feels like a new era of history, it is important for business owners, CEOs, influencers, brands, and social media managers to actively jump on these important social issues and handle them appropriately, professionally, and with care.
Here are three steps your company should take when responding to current events on social media:
As a leader, it’s your job to stay up to speed with what’s going on in the world. When serious or heartbreaking events occur, you must familiarize yourself with the topic before acting online. There is an abundance of resources you can turn to — news articles, studies, podcasts, other social media accounts, and so much more.
Do. Not. React. Without. Thinking.
Verify the credibility of the resources you are using before you commit to them. While a complete understanding of the immediate situation is important, it is also integral to dig further and educate yourself on the historical context of the issue at hand. Background information is vital in forming a robust knowledge of the topic. Make sure you are educated and ready when you take a stand.
Make a Statement
After you’ve done the research, it’s time to get the ball rolling and make your statement. Make sure you understand all sides of the issue and pay close attention to the views of your target audience. You can make the statement on social media platforms, through content creation, or with an announcement on the website.
Whatever medium you choose, use discretion on what seems most appropriate. Ensure that your message is carefully crafted, and checked by multiple people (including those who may have a different view than you) before it’s published. Listen to others. Hear their points of view. Dig into why a specific word might make them feel a certain way. (This article about why “diversity” can be a negative word is amazing.)
Once your message is polished and ready, post it and gauge the response from your followers to ensure they’re positive ones. Your audience will appreciate your acknowledgment of the issue and will now see your brand as a safe space.
Actions Mean More Than Words
Now that you’ve published your statement (and hopefully received positive feedback) it’s time to act on your words. Don’t dismiss the issue just yet. Donate, develop a campaign, create a petition, and don’t forget about the issue in 2 weeks. You have to walk the walk, too.
Show your audience that you truly meant what you said. If you respond to current events on social media but your passion dies as fast as the news cycle, it’s obvious — and you won’t make any real impact.
If your business is struggling financially and unable to provide cash to the cause, there are alternative ways to give back that don’t require breaking the bank.