Find an example of an organizational crisis that has played out across social media (this can be from government, education, nonprofits, or corporations – just not individuals). Choose a case found in one of the articles listed below:
Learn as much as you can about the case using at least 3 sources (different articles, the company’s own website, etc.) You want to compare what different people have said about the case.
Write a 2 to 3 1/2-page paper as noted below. The paper should be 12-point type, single-spaced, 1-inch margins. Follow the rubric when writing your paper
- (Links to an external site.)In your own words, summarize the case study. Be sure to include the reason for the crisis, who was affected by the crisis (customers, shareholders, community), how the company responded to the crisis, and the outcome of the crisis (35 points)
- Relate the case to “Five Stages of Crisis Management in the Digital Age” found on down below the rubric. Do you see any evidence that the company effectively met any of these stages? If so, how? Where was the company lacking? (25 points)
- Provide your reaction to the crisis. What could the organization have done better? What would you recommend to the company in the future based upon lessons learned? (25 points)
- In your discussion, cite 3 sources that you used to learn about the case (you can use hyperlinks or a bibliography). (15 points)
Five Stages of Crisis Management in the Digital Age
- Prepare in advance.Crises can happen to any company. Create a crisis communication plan that can be used as s roadmap if the worst happens. This means creating a ‘crisis communication plan’ that includes organizing a crisis team as well as coming up with key messages and objectives that need to be met. Companies should also prepare prewritten materials that they are able to release at short notice. Companies should also be proactive in monitoring social media channels for possible developing crises. Monitoring software such as Meltwater Buzz and Crimson Hexagon helps companies to get a better view of what individuals are saying about their brand.
- Isolate the Origin.Being able to identify the origin of the crisis is paramount in controlling the crisis. It is key for the company to find out where the problem has come for and what social media channels are being affected. This makes it easier to formulate an action plan to counter any negative chatter.
- Evaluate the Impact.Take inventory of the situation and determine which publics need attention first and fast. Create a log to see what the issue is and who it affecting most. The two primary audiences during a crisis are those directly affected and those whose attitudes of the company could be affected. The response should be aimed at targeting the group most strongly affected. Timing is key. A company needs to make sure they acknowledge the crisis or they risk ruining their credibility, however if rushed, a response could just exasperate the problem further so time must be spent working out the correct way to answer any allegations.
- Mitigate the Crisis.Try to limit the crisis – this means fast action.Prepare a response and ongoing updates. The first thing to do in crisis management is to ‘stop the bleeding’, that’s why it’s important to be prepared for whatever happens and to respond quickly. Some companies prepare a ‘dark’ website that they can put online if a severe crisis requires it. Then mobilize the preplanned crisis management team and direct traffic on the social media sites towards the predesigned crisis website which will be controlled only by you and should contain the latest updates and information on the crisis.
- Learn from the Crisis.Once it is over, what did the company learn from the crisis and how might those lessons be incorporated into future crisis plans. Like life, companies need to learn from their mistakes and work out how to stop them happening again in the future. The crisis management team should have a post crisis debrief to evaluate what they did well and what they could have done better. If done properly it should help for the planning and execution of future crisis communications.Follow these five steps when your client encounters a crisis and the brand will not suffer as much. Of course, it is always important to remember that everything should be done to avoid these problems in the first place but sometimes they are unavoidable. With planning, preparation and timely execution, crises can be dealt with and turned into a positive.