TechBytes with Emma Monks, VP of Crisis Intelligence at Crisp

TechBytes with Emma Monks, VP Crisis Intelligence at Crisp

Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Crisp.

As VP of Crisis Intelligence at Crisp, I head up a team of consultants and researchers who focus on helping our globally recognized clients with their crisis preparedness, social and wider web monitoring strategies, issue escalation trigger points and maps of internal stakeholders who need to be made aware of potential crisis situations when they arise. The team’s researchers ensure that we keep our clients on top of both the direct sources of potential crises and the indirect sources that manifest through such things as shifting societal outlooks and values.

The team’s talented consultants, in addition to working in partnership with clients to craft robust and flexible crisis monitoring policies, also act as a bridge between the client and Crisp’s internal teams who harness and blend our Artificial Intelligence solutions with our expert analysts to create Crisp’s unique Extended Intelligence model of crisis monitoring.

What is Crisis Intelligence? What type of strategies and technologies are involved in Crisis intelligence?

Crisis Intelligence is the practice of understanding the crisis lifecycle from preparedness through to response, post-event evaluation and evolution of the plan. It’s all about being able to effectively consult on identifying signals that give forewarning of a situation that may damage a client’s reputation or brand value and construct actionable plans that prevent harmful social content from spiraling into a crisis through analysis of similar previous situations and shifting consumer attitudes and trust. We believe Crisis Intelligence is a vital skill to have within any organization that values the safety and loyalty of their customers and the reputation and health of their brand.

The blending of Human Intelligence with Artificial Intelligence is a crucial component of effective Crisis Intelligence since technology alone isn’t at the point yet where it can make fully informed decisions that would necessitate the triggering of a crisis response plan. While AI can be a useful tool for sorting through the noise and identifying potentially problematic content, it is human analysts who bring a deeper understanding of the brand and wider industry, as well as the contextual awareness necessary to set off the final alarm bells.

Ultimately, this combination of AI and humans represents an emerging kind of intelligence called Extended Intelligence. Extended Intelligence enables organizations to listen more effectively to how content is being spread across their channels and inform their crisis plans accordingly.

In the era of live streaming and user-generated content (UGC), to what extent can the spread of harmful content be prevented?

In the age of social media, where users can post essentially whatever they want, whenever they want, there’s a lot of potential for information to circulate that can be harmful, especially if left unchecked. Given the rate at which information can move across social media (whether it originates online or not), it can be very difficult for brands to protect the safety of their channels and customers, as well as the integrity of their brand.

It’s important for organizations to closely monitor both their own social media channels and the Wider Web. Brands need to have the solutions and strategies in place that allow them to identify these harmful conversations on social before they turn ugly. This involves having the right tools to identify seemingly risky chatter that mentions a brand and having human analysts in place to sort through this information to determine if it’s necessary to trigger a crisis response plan. Speed is critical in reducing the spread of harmful content – if decision-makers are first to know about the situation they can take steps to be the first to act on it and prevent the content spreading.

What are the different scenarios where Crisis Intelligence could be applied to overcome risks and brand abandonments?

A crisis can start anywhere – whether online or offline – and at any moment. Wherever the event occurs, it is likely to make its way to social media and surface Web, where it can quickly be amplified to new audiences and channels. For example, a customer can post a photo of their food online that has a dangerous object in it or a piece of UGC could surface that contains toxic rumors about a brand, its executives or even the celebrity ambassadors it’s working with.

These events are fairly unpredictable and could happen at any moment. While brands can’t be fortune tellers, they can prepare via the use of crisis scenario models and they can have the solutions in place that identify this content within minutes and alert the necessary stakeholders. Crisis Intelligence comes into play to help these stakeholders determine the next best course of action to not only help the brand but ensure customers remain safe and satisfied throughout the handling of the event so the brand can maintain loyalty as best as possible.

Why should Marketing teams leverage Crisis Intelligence and how?

Marketing teams should leverage Crisis Intelligence to inform their content, and messaging to the public and to monitor the public reaction to it. A marketer with a Crisis Intelligence background has an extra filter through which they can assess whether a piece of content could be construed in a negative way and also develop content proactively in the case of certain crisis scenarios.

It’s also important for marketers to have an understanding of Crisis Intelligence so they can properly equip stakeholders with the right messaging in the wake of a crisis or critical issue that threatens their brand. Marketers are typically responsible for brand messaging consistency, and the public expects a well put together response from the C-level when an unfavorable situation occurs. The marketer is essential in working with Corporate Communications to draft this messaging.

Marketers can also use Crisis Intelligence to analyze data from previous campaigns and communications to show what types of responses to various situations (positive, neutral and negative) resonate best with their unique audience, so that in the wake of a critical issue, they are as prepared as possible to meet the specific needs of their customers.

How does Crisp help to identify harmful content?

By combining Artificial Intelligence and expert human analysts, Crisp provides an Extended Intelligence service that helps some of the world’s largest brands identify harmful content on social media and surface Web. AI sorts through conversations related to the brand and pushes the content that looks like pure noise out of the way while triaging and prioritizing the content that looks harmful. Crisp then brings in Human Intelligence to determine if the conversation or content truly needs to be flagged to the organization (in order to avoid cry-wolf scenarios), who can then initiate their crisis response.

How do you study Customer sentiments during their engagements or interactions with a brand? How can sentiment analysis prevent the creation and spreading of harmful content?

Sentiment can be an important indicator of public reaction, both to Marketing messages and crisis response. Both the sentiment of the message itself and the analysis of the reactions on-brand messaging are important to consider.

Tell us about the role of AI and Machine learning in Crisis Prevention.

AI and Machine Learning are crucial aspects for effective crisis monitoring and prevention since these tools can sort through the millions of pieces of data coursing through social media and the surface Web with greater efficiency than humans can. As AI continually learns based on the data it analyzes, it can continually refine which information is just noise and which is of true concern to brands.

That being said, AI is only part of the puzzle when it comes to effective crisis monitoring. While AI can sift through and triage large amounts of content quickly, Human Intelligence is needed to make the final decision on whether or not the content has the potential to turn into a full-blown crisis. If brands put a crisis plan into action where there is little potential for brand damage, it could cause more harm than good and blow a small issue out of proportion. This is why Human Intelligence is also an equally crucial aspect of effective crisis prevention to avoid false alarms.

Emma is a professional in the area of online risk and brand reputation with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

She currently serves as VP Crisis Intelligence for Crisp, market leaders in brand risk detection and crisis monitoring and kids and teens’ safety and COPPA/GDPR compliance.

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Crisp is a cutting-edge Social Media Safety and crisis monitoring firm. Our industry-leading technology is trusted by some of the world’s largest, most well-known brands to provide fast, precise detection of critical issues and crises.

Established in 2005 by online gaming and social media entrepreneur Adam Hildreth, Crisp began protecting children and teenagers using online games and social networks from abuse, sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and other online threats. And as organizations began utilizing social media to engage and foster relationships with customers, Crisp evolved its offering to help brands manage and avert liabilities on their own social media channels – and the larger social web.

From luxury and media to pharmaceutical and FMCG companies, global brands trust Crisp to protect over $3.6 trillion of market capitalizations. Through 24/7 monitoring of social media channels and the wider internet, we ensure brands are immediately alerted to emerging issues, giving them the power to take control of every situation while protecting their brand value – and the lives of millions of people.

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