In celebration of July 15th in Turkiye, we would like to highlight the role of social media means to help leaders manage in times of crisis. We have seen in the last decade massive use of social media and the internet by people in the Arab spring countries to uncover dictatorships and oppression, escape censorship, and the over-control of governors.
Turkey, a democratic country, used the same tools, not by the people but by the leadership to inform and organize the public and decrease the panic and rumors virality. Obama, the ex-president of the USA, was the first to use social media effectively to engage and persuade. When Obama came into office, the White House joined Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, iTunes, and MySpace. In 2013, the first lady posted her first photo on Instagram. In 2015, President Obama sent his first tweet from @POTUS, an account that now has 11 million followers.
Social Media rule in the crisis
Historically, the media has played an important role in regime-changing everywhere on the planet. In 2016, Social media united with classic media tools to enforce the public will. Unusually President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, used the FaceTime video chat app on the iPhone to reach his followers and citizens, giving them real-time information and instruction regarding the situation. Also, as an innovative tactic, they used mosques to spread the alarm of urgency throughout the country.
The 16 of July showed how communication could be a powerful component for leaders to counter crises and establish order in organizations. It has also proved three major facts; Firstly, it has proved that there is a symbiosis, rather than a contrast, between the traditional and new media. Secondly, it has demonstrated that different communication technologies can assume various roles. Thirdly, it has revealed that communication means are not always apparent, and mosques can serve as a unique communication network.
As a lesson of what happened in Temmuz 15, we encourage decision-makers and managers to keep their communication channels people-centered. To consider a channel at least to each stakeholder and to engage with a marketing agency insuring an external eye on how to manage the crisis effectively. We, in REACH, provide crisis management services and ensure the digital visibility of organizations and enterprises.