Lauren Brogdon, a partner in Haynes Boone’s Energy Litigation Practice, shared key social media strategies for companies facing the aftermath of a catastrophic event. Read more from the Law360 article below:
In the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic incident — whether it's an explosion, environmental accident, high-profile government investigation or natural disaster — a company's attention is torn in a multitude of different directions. Government agents may be knocking at the door. Employees, contractors or community members may be on the way to the hospital.
News outlets may be outside the location, requesting information and interviews. But equally important — not just at the outset, but in anticipation of and throughout subsequent litigation — is managing social media coverage of the incident.
While the company's attention is diverted to immediate disaster response, the perception of the incident and the company is being shaped online, sometimes without input from the company itself. A company's strategic engagement with social media after a disaster can help avoid litigation — or, conversely, exacerbate government and individual claims brought against it.
Companies are thus well-advised to include a social media management strategy — designed with litigation in mind — as part of their disaster response plans. Among other considerations, these plans should:
- Seek to calm emotions, correct misinformation and quell fears from potential plaintiffs to limit potential litigation;
- Affirmatively release information that will not be inconsistent with the company's position in investigations and litigation; and
- Gather third-party information that is disseminated by government agencies and the public as potential evidence in any ensuing lawsuit.
Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, click here.