Leading multinational companies and NGOs reveal how they use social media to create and fight reputational crisis campaigns

A newly published report reveals how NGOs and companies utilise the power of social media around campaign and crisis issues.

The 52-page business intelligence report delves into the power of social media and how it’s being used by both NGOs and companies. It details how NGOs utilise social media to help push and promote campaigns and crisis issues. The report also reveals how companies are preparing and engaging on this new frontier.

The report, jointly published by Ethical Corporation and Useful Social media, has been compiled after over five months of research, a survey of over 250 members of the Ethical Corporation and Useful Social Media community plus in-depth interviews with leading professionals within the fields of corporate responsibility and social media.

The Communications, Campaigns and Social Media - How companies respond to consumers and activists in a crisis report features six detailed graphs plus contains contributions from the likes of Procter & Gamble, Greenpeace, Southwest Airlines, GE, Moxyvote, Polecat and Gap.

The intelligence report outlines how campaigners leverage the power of social media, and in-turn how companies are using social media to build and preserve their brands. The report also examines what the future might hold – for both user of social media and those companies’ reputations that are caught in its spotlight.

Yasmin Crowther, co-author of the report, states that "social media has turbo-charged the conversations around corporate brands and their behaviour. We see activists creating new ways to expose corporate crimes and inspire their supporters. Beyond the creation of compelling web videos and campaign petitions, social media is being used to convene small shareholders to pool votes and confront boards, and to mobilise clicktivists into mini-marketplaces to negotiate on corporate services and performance.”

"The most successful corporate responses don't default to the controlled messaging of conventional PR strategies, but genuinely seek to participate in social media conversations. Leading companies don't just weather the storm of online scrutiny, but endeavour to harness the power of the storm to co-create solutions and deliver on commitments to engagement, transparency and respect," says Crowther.

The report features four detailed case studies. The first looks at how Greenpeace leveraged the power of social media for their campaign against Nestlé and Kit-Kat in 2010. The second study provides an in-depth review of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and BP’s online insufficiencies, plus the campaigning activity that occurred during the disaster.

Taking a look at the corporate side, the report features a summary of Coca-Cola’s five Online Social Media Principles and how a company can set similar principles. The final case study looks at Shell’s prompt response to counter the recent Alaskan hoax.

“Suddenly, through the power of social media, dissenting voices can be amplified – and will echo around the world, from media sites to living rooms – to boardrooms. Large businesses must evolve to deal with this new, levelled playing field – and this report contains the best practice and strategies needed to do just that,” says Nick Johnson, Founder of Useful Social Media.

To find out more information about the report visit http://ow.ly/c8JIu

Ethical Corporation provides business intelligence for sustainability to more than 3,000 multinational companies every year. We provide objective analysis in our reports, news, events and updates for the corporate sustainability. Ethical Corporation publishes the leading responsible business magazine and website.

Useful Social Media provides business intelligence on how large corporations can leverage social media for business advantage. We produce business intelligence products and conferences to help companies understand how they can leverage social media for better marketing and business strategy.