The rise of social media as a dominant method of communication is revolutionising the job of risk managers.
The adage that reputations are built over years but can be destroyed in an instant is truer than ever, as social media connects the public in faster and more targeted ways, amplifying concerned stakeholders’ voices and publicising crises in real time.
But while social media creates new dangers for risk exposure, it also provides new opportunities to respond to a crisis.
Studies have shown that approximately 71% of US adults use Facebook and 23% use Twitter; and that 25% of verified Twitter users are journalists.
A good crisis communication strategy, therefore, includes a social media component which allows you to respond quickly and emphasise transparency.
It also allows stakeholders to create content and be involved in collecting information about a crisis faster from those directly involved and can be used to rally supporters.
Virgin Trains East Coast quickly apologised to the Olympian on Twitter, offering its "sincerest apologies" and saying the incident would be investigated.