So you’re sitting in your crisis communications operations room, crafting and distributing messages intended to honestly tell the story of your disaster, or, for the PR cynic, put lipstick on a pig. The real question is, what are all those people thinking out there? How are they feeling about your organization, the job that is being done, the messages being received.
Understanding that the success of the response is largely tied to the summation of these opinions and the long-term effect of them, it becomes very important to have a good handle on what people are really thinking. The greater emphasis on interaction and engagement improves this because the communicators are actually talking with those folks or engaging them via digital communications .
Sentiment analysis is vitally important. It’s important to journalists as well as part of their job is understanding and reflecting how people are responding to events and issues of the day. This report from Nieman Lab gives a good idea of how journalists deal with the issue of sentiment. Where many have relied on pundits, or supposed representatives of a group, there is increasing emphasis on statistical sentiment analysis using algorithms to review social media conversations. But, as you will see in this article, these systems are far from fool proof. Just like us humans.