3 Reasons You Need a Protocol to Address Narrative-Borne Threats
Every day, an enormous amount of information is shared on the internet. Some of it is completely true, some of it is utterly false, and some of it is somewhere in between. But a lot of it, no matter which of these categories it belongs to, can form narratives that affect your business.
Just ask companies in the cellular technology space, which last year saw a wave of arson attacks on 5G cell towers in connection with online narratives claiming that 5G causes COVID-19.
Narratives can spread rapidly, and can pull in your business at a moment’s notice. If you don’t have a protocol in place for dealing with a narrative, it can spread until you’re no longer able to control it. With that in mind, here are three ways building a robust protocol for identifying and responding to narrative-borne threats can make a huge difference for your business.
1. It Improves Your Resource Allocation
The cornerstone of any narrative-borne threat response protocol is what we refer to as your “threshold.” This is the line you draw to separate minor threats that likely don’t need much attention to major ones that demand an immediate response. This threshold can be based on the number of mentions of a given narrative, the rate at which it’s spreading, or some other factor, and it can be different for every company. Media intelligence can provide valuable insight for companies figuring out where to draw this crucial line.
“The last thing you want is to have an urgent threat arise while your team is distracted by a lesser project.”
Once you’ve established your threshold, the next steps in your response become much more efficient. There will be little to no risk of directing too many response resources to narratives that don’t actually need much attention, potentially pulling resources away from other, more significant narratives that may quickly arise as well. After all, the last thing you want is to have an urgent threat arise while your team is distracted by a lesser project.
2. It Accelerates Your Response
With a strong threshold in place, you’ll be able to kick your response into gear without delay. Your threshold will provide you with an instantaneous go/no-go signal, eliminating the need to spend valuable time assessing whether a narrative that has arisen requires a robust response or more of a wait-and-see approach.
This speed and efficiency is crucial to meet the urgency that narrative-borne threats can present. As Zignal Chief Customer Officer and Head of Insights Jennifer Granston put it in our recent Town Hall, “At the point your brand gets mentioned, it’s almost too late.”
3. It Guides Your Deployment of Personnel
Responding to narrative-borne threats often requires pulling in people from various teams across your organization, from Risk Operations to Communications and Beyond. If you don’t have a system in place for deciding which teams and which individuals should be involved in monitoring for, and responding to, different types of narratives, you’ll have to make these choices on the fly – which can get chaotic.
“Your protocol should include clear guidelines around who from your organization should be involved in addressing the narrative-borne threat landscape, as well as some templatized responses for different types of threats.”
That’s why part of your protocol should include clear guidelines around who from your organization should be involved in addressing the narrative-borne threat landscape, as well as some templatized responses for different types of threats. In this way, you can avoid spending valuable time deciding who should be involved, and going through manual approval processes, each time a situation arises.
Narrative-borne threats aren’t going away, and the threat landscape is only getting more complex. But with the right protocol in place for your organization, you can be ready.
Download our free new guide to learn how to build and deploy your protocol.
Schedule a meeting with our team to see why Zignal media intelligence is a valuable resource in getting started.