Carefully Crafted on April 30

Adding Visuals to Crisis Communication: A Lesson from the LA Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers have had quite the week. In the midst of the NBA playoffs, the world learned that the team’s owner is a racist. The NBA banned him for life and is fining him $2.5 million. I can only imagine what the team’s PR department has been dealing with all week, which makes their crisis response even more impressive. In addition to the traditional crisis communication channels, the Clippers added visuals to their outreach arsenel. On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after the NBA Commissioner announced how the league would be punishing Sterling, the Clippers updated their social channels with a powerfully simple “We are One” message.


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Simple. Clear. Concise. On message. Smart, right?

In a crisis, if you’re not quick, you’re not relevant. Certainly, a quick response is critical, but HOW you respond is just as important. Knowing the high open rates/shares/clicks/likes/etc generated by visuals across all the social channels, it’s time to update the crisis plan once again. Simply “socializing” the standard processes and procedures isn’t enough (which hopefully, you’ve already done!). Establishing protocols and encouraging opportunities to deploy messages visually is a necessary part of a crisis strategy.

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