Geoffrey Stackhouse on managing social media outrage

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Managing outrage

I’m always fascinated by how social media can be an amplifier of ‘outrage’, whether it’s Actual Outrage or Social Media Outrage.  

Perpetual Outrage

In this video, Geoffrey Stackhouse, managing director of the crisis media training outfit Clarity Solutions discusses some of the underlying causes of Social Media Outrage and offers some ideas on what you can do to manage outrage.

Storybombers – the Outrage Industry

Story bombers are those who hijack your story and create a new narrative around outrage that furthers their cause.

What’s the psychology here?

I love comedian Charlie Brooker’s take on this: “Is it a narcissistic compulsion to demonstrate how much more thoughtful and sensitive you are than the ignorant clod who offended you? An earnest belief that a better world will only be reached after several thousand hours of angry dissent over absolutely every linguistic transgression ever made? A cathartic howl of vague personal unhappiness disguised as a campaign of improvement? Or just something to do between bowel movements?” Read the full article here.

How to be ready for outrage

Because of story bombing, outrage needs to be part of our communication planning. Here are three of Geoffrey’s key points around managing outrage: 1. Monitor your social media constantly. 2. Apology early and often – be seen as empathetic and present. 3. Brace yourself – but don’t be silenced. If your view is considered and well argued, social media can also be a amplifier of the support for your story.

Are we ‘offended’?

I’d love to hear about your experience of outrage, have you been baffled about how a throw away remark can become a social media Sh*tstorm bigger than Ben Hur?

PRIA Summer Master Class

Geoffrey is speaking at a three day PRIA Summer Master Class which promises to be quite interesting: