Crisis Communication Essay

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November 11, 2013 To: VP – Communications From: Siddharth Aich Subject: A Crisis Communication Strategy gone wrong It all looks like a case of too little, too late. Research In Motion (RIM) finds itself in a highly competitive marketplace with severe downward pressure on global sales and coping with reputational fallout due to a number of issues – major one being, the October outage. Social media channels used to communicate crisis * Twitter – First medium to communicate crises to the public (6 hours after services went down affecting 5 million users). Blackberry users began a long thread of complaints. * Facebook – Several statements related to service updates and expressions of mortification were posted. Customers’ comments were ignored and were responded to with a half-hearted attempt at an apology. Users’ need for information wasn’t addressed. * YouTube – A video showing RIM’s CEO addressing stakeholders with a message on behalf of the company and him. The video wasn’t released until two days after the crises started. Analysis of RIM’s response strategy The company has been too slow to react to the crises. The network outage was affecting users more than four hours later with no indication of a resolution time. Many end-users were frustrated by the lack of communication from RIM. Social media sites should have been used to provide fast and helpful responses. The very first message delivered on Facebook began with the following sentence, “We are pleased to report that BlackBerry email services have been restored” and was concluded in this way, “We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience and we’ll continue to update you as new information becomes available”. Here, we made the mistake of claiming that the crisis was nearly over, when in fact, it had just begun. RIM chose not to answer any of the threads and comments made by

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