'It's hard for banks to be taken seriously': The essentials of crisis communication
Seamen's Bank's branch located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. President and CEO Lori Meads decided to err on the side of transparency when it came to communicating with customers during the recent banking crisis.
The news broke on a Sunday in March regulators had taken over Signature Bank.
Not only was it the second failure in just a few days Silicon Valley Bank had met the same fate on that Friday but the third largest in U.S. history. (Silicon Valley Bank was the second.)
There was wall-to-wall news coverage about these events. Speculation about the future of other institutions and the health of the industry overall spread across social media in a way that banks hadn't been forced to grapple with during prior crises. Twitter was still in its infancy when the 2008 financial crisis struck, while other platforms, like TikTok and Instagram, weren't even around yet.
"You could see a storyline develop on Twitter then a few hours later, you could see it on TV," said Chris Donahoe, co-head of U.S. operations at Edelman Smithfield, a communications firm. "You could see in real-time how hot takes and lines of inquiry would develop on social media and evolve across the media spectrum."