Editor's note: The following opinion article is the third in a three-part series by guest columnist Richard S. Levick, the president and CEO of Levick Strategic Communications, the world's largest crisis communications firm. Levick is the co-author of 'Stop the Presses: The Crisis & Litigation PR Desk Reference' and writes for bulletproofblog.com. Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2. Levick welcomes your comments here.Effective use of social media to prevent and respond to reputational crises isn't about checking boxes and moving on. It's an ongoing process that requires daily vigilance. Here are the questions you should be asking your corporate communications officers, the answers you'll receive if your company still isn't up to speed, and the follow-up responses you can use to get your communications team back on the right track:
- Question 1: Are we watching the blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter for mentions of our company?
- Wrong Answer: Yeah, boss. We've got Google (GOOG) alerts set up for our company name and all our marquee brands.
- Your Follow-Up: But who are the high-authority bloggers (those that are most influential in the digital and traditional media space) covering our industry? And how often are you reading what they're writing?
- Question 2: Are we prepared to get our messages out there in case we start taking hits in the social media space?
- Wrong Answer: Yeah, boss. We've bought up some Google AdWords.
- Your Follow-Up: But is our Web site optimized to be ranked first on Google? What is our blog engagement strategy? Do we have a YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account of our own?
- Question 3: What are we doing to proactively engage the social media space and build an online bank of trust before withdrawals during crisis leave it in the red?
- Wrong Answer: We're all set, boss. We've got a blog.
- Your Follow-Up: But are we using it to engage our most vital audiences?