Shitstorm – Definition & Tips

Shitstorm – The term “shitstorm” comes from English, where it has a broader meaning than in German. In German, a shitstorm means a form of public outrage. A shitstorm means a phase in which companies, celebrities, associations, private individuals or authorities are criticized in a short period of time because of certain statements or actions on, for example, social networks or blogs. The result is negative reporting, vituperative criticism and insults. For companies, sitstorms often lead to reputational damage if they do not respond quickly to this crisis. This is precisely why it’s important to monitor social media closely and alert the right people immediately when a shitstorm strikes. But how do you handle a shitstorm as a company? We have the answer!

How to react as a company to a shitstorm?

You got a shitstorm and don’t know what to do? Don’t panic! We have tips for you that will help you deal with shitstorms:

1. react instead of ignore

Ignoring the problem is not a solution in any case! Most of the time it helps if you show that you are aware of the problem and try to solve it as soon as possible. It is of high importance to give feedback to people.

2. apologize & regret

Communication is the be-all and end-all in a situation like this. The phrase that is reluctantly used but almost always helps: “We’re sorry this happened. We will do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” It is always good to express a clear and unequivocal apology.

3. communicate & inform with customers

Keep your customers informed, even if you don’t have clarity yourself yet. In such a case, you can use this phrase: “As soon as we know more, we will inform you immediately.” If you have new information, let your customers know.

4. delete negative feedback? No, thank you!

Deleting negative feedback makes your customers think you have something to hide. This only adds salt to the wound. If it is necessary to delete criticism or a post, you must always justify it.