Bosses, board members and clients who don’t work in communications have come up with many ways of asking if a campaign will go viral. But as I write in PR Week, this is fundamentally the wrong question.

Instead, organisations need to ask the question “are we ready to go viral?”

Cancer Research UK may have raised over £8m from #nomakeupselfie, but as this excellent post on Just Giving sets out, it didn’t happen entirely by accident. There are many lessons to learn from Cancer Research UK, from ice bucket challenge and from the countless other campaigns that have gone viral.

Based on what the experts said at a PRCA charity and digital group joint event last night, here’s how you can check if your organisation is ready.

Simply answer the five questions below:

1) Does your organisation’s bosses believe social media has a role to play in generating awareness, creating advocacy or driving action?

2) Is your social media team integrated into the wider PR, communications and marketing function?

3) Do you operate an out of hours rota system for monitoring and responding to social media?

4) Are you ready to respect the fundamental nature of social media – that it is unpredictable and spontaneous (and don’t be put off that there can be crises)?

5) Do you have plans in place to act strategically to maximise any opportunities that arise?

If you answered  YES to ALL five questions…

Good news, your organisation is in a good place – and read this blog by Paul Sutton on how to spot a perfect storm.

If you answered NO to ANY of the above…

Check out these five tips on how to create your own #nomakeupselfie and talk to experts about how you can get your organisation trained and ready to maximise any opportunities social media presents in the future.