In the fall-out from the horrific terrorist attack on Manchester Arena on Monday, the UK terror threat has been raised to its highest level of ‘critical’ as authorities fear that more attacks are imminent. Whilst MI5 is working round the clock to keep us safe from this, terrorist propaganda and extremist views were spreading quickly, especially on social media.
We read every piece of content from our clients' social media channels looking for complex word combinations that trigger any of over 100 risks, such as a bomb threat, hate speech or illness after taking prescribed medication. When a risk is found, the comment and its context are reviewed by one of our skilled Risk Analysts. It’s their job to understand the real intent of the comment and to tag it appropriately so the right action can be taken.
30-odd years ago Citibank introduced the slogan ‘The Citi Never Sleeps’ and has recently resurrected it. The slogan conjured up a sense of security that when we need it – anytime of day or night – we can get our money. It was prescient of Citi, back in the 1980s, to want to reflect a world that was increasingly global, increasingly ‘on’. But even Citi wouldn’t have anticipated the truly non-stop, digital, mobile world we now inhabit.
Today, it’s social media that never sleeps.
Target was in the news today after a trolling comedian posed as a customer service representative. After the US store announced gender-neutral in-store labelling, some of their customers raced to the company’s Facebook page to complain.
A celebrity calls for a boycott to your brand, your CEO's home address is leaked online, a fault with one of your products is trending; and it all happens when you're asleep. Too often we see situations where the impact of online brand attacks could have been reduced if the relevant PR team had been given time to craft a careful response before the issue was amplified across social media. A social listening tool isn't going to telephone members of the crisis management team in the middle of the night. You can't guarantee it will highlight significant issues either because technology can't always filter out the noise to detect the significant risks. Social listening tools alone just don't cut it when a PR crisis hits. They need a human team to interpret the results and make sure the right people know what's happening.