March 27, 2020

Virus Social Media Tips

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Looking to make sure your social media isn’t socially distant? The COVID-19 pandemic has forced PR pros to re-evaluate their digital strategies. PR Nation contributor Jason Mollica joins Robert to share his 10 tips for managing social media during a crisis.

Summer talks about getting ready for video teleconferences, while John O’Dwyer delivers the latest PR news headlines as reported by the O’Dwyer’s PR newsroom in New York City. 

Jason Mollica’s Top 10 tips for social media in a crisis:


  1. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN– Be proactive. It will not matter what you say if you do not listen to what is going on during a crisis in the short-term. This allows you to gain insight for the long-term.
  2. MONITOR– While this is reactive, it’s still essential in the case of customer care. These interactions can aid in how you adapt moving forward.
  3. CONSISTENCY IS KEY– The voice you have off social, needs to be echoed on social, as well. Mixed messages will only confuse and frustrate all audiences.
  4. PRIORITIZE– What is important for your audience to know RIGHT NOW?
  5. BE OPEN AND TRANSPARENT– If people believe you are keeping information from them, you’ll be called out for it. Let them know as much as you factually know.


  1. BE IMPERSONAL– If messaging appears too robotic or with too much lingo, you’ll confuse the audience. Use wording and facts people understand.
  2. PUSH THE ENVELOPE– This isn’t a time to be cute or make jokes, especially if people are sick/injured/dying. Government agencies, food brands shouldn’t play these games. Stick to reassuring the public that everything is being done to right the ship.
  3. KEEP SELLING– Hit the pause button on discounts or special offers. If you are trying to capitalize on suffering, people will remember and you’ll be history.
  4. DEAL IN OPINION– Stay with facts from trusted sources and make sure that your team is in sync. Also, if your social media profiles aren’t always the place for retweets/shares, don’t get caught posting information that could cause your organization to retract.
  5. BE COMBATIVE– The easiest way to get people against you is to be hostile about your responses. If you are the communications director for a governor, you can’t be clapping back at detractors. If it needs to be addressed, offer the option to contact you through direct message or email.


Contributor: Jason Mollica

O’Dwyer’s PR Newsletter