Recent research by Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer, the top law firm, says that “More than one-quarter of crises spread to international media within an hour and over two-thirds within 24 hours”, and yet “it still takes an average of 21 hours for companies to respond”.

Social media is a constant platform for communication and therefore represents a huge platform for reputational risk. So many companies operate in more than one country, and social media means that a crisis in one country can spread quickly to create a crisis in another. Media such as Twitter also mean that there is a constant spotlight on the crisis, making managing the crisis effectively extremely important, and with the consequences of the crisis lingering over the long-term.

It is important that companies respond in a timely manner to crises and stem negative social media impact, as well as recognising legal constraints and opportunities.