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Transcript of Social Media
& Social Media
Contents of Presentation
"the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes"
"Various digital tools and applications that facilitate interactive communication and content exchange among publics and organizations online."
Liu, B., Jin, y., & Austin, L.
W. Timothy Coombs
Applebee's Restaurant Crisis
Alois Bell’s comment on the receipt from Applebee’s
Chelsea Welch’s reason for posting the receipt on Internet:
Social Media Hurts Companies in Crisis
Reason #1: Breadth of Public Knowledge
Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, blogs and media
Applebee’s contradicted themselves on Facebook.
Earlier posting of another receipt on Facebook
Denied comments about deleting comments and pictures.
Social media’s uproar sparked media interest to get a hold of the story and make it public.
Reason #2: social media gives publics a voice
People are no longer eating at Applebee’s:
Outraged about decision-making with employees
Petition to give Chelsea Welch’s job back
Alois Bell gets ridiculed
Reason #3: Applebee’s loses control of social media due to immense speed of comments.
Four members on Applebee’s social media team.
Blocks users on Facebook
Copying and pasting replies
Total in 7 days: 1,400,000 views of topic through social media
In 24 hours: 40,000 comments on Facebook
Reason #4: Applebee's had to be more transparent in their updates
Deletes/hides original status update on Facebook
Second status update: written on “comment status” instead of “status update”.
Updated posts were too delayed in reaching public during crisis.
Case Study: Toronto Ice Storm (2013)
Storm Tracking Began
33 mm of Freezing Rain
Level 2 Emergency Declared
2.5 mm of Freezing Rain Falling Each Hour
Level 3 Emergency Declared
By The Numbers
309,000,000 Twitter impressions
Households Without Power
800 Traffic Lights Out
500 Downed Wires
160 Downed Wires Requiring Police Supervision
Social Media and Natural Disasters
• Demonstrate leadership, good business practice
• Control the message
• Incidence of disasters increasing
Social Media and the Ice Storm
City of Toronto
“Some organizations rose to the challenge and used Twitter effectively to provide important information to people in real time. Equally important, these organizations recognized that Twitter is a two-way platform for communication. They didn’t just use Twitter to talk, they also used it to listen and respond.”
-Allan Gates, Partner at Bonfire Stories
Case Study: Urban Outfitters
May 4, 1970: A shooting takes place at Kent State University. Students were protesting American role in Vietnam War
• 4 killed and 9 injured by police
Urban Outfitters puts up a ‘vintage’ Kent State sweatshirt for sale on their website for $129 at the beginning of Sept., 2014
The Tweeted Apology
“Urban Outfitters sincerely apologizes for any offense our Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt may have caused. It was never our intention to allude to the tragic events that took place at Kent State in 1970 and we are extremely saddened that this item was perceived as such. The one-of-a-kind item was purchased as part of our sun-faded vintage collection. There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray. Again, we deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively and we have removed it immediately from our website to avoid further upset.”
Users on Twitter replied with anger despite Urban Outfitter's apology
Messages shared about Urban Outfitters crisis in 24 hours.
Social Media Footprint
Social media is a great tool for public relations practitioners!
But... Is it really that great?
Social Media can hurt organizations' public image during times of crisis - a theoretical analysis
Exploration of theory through case studies:
1. Applebee's restaurant
2. Toronto ice storm
3. Urban Outfitters
25 Jan., 2013
Chelsea Welch gets fired for violating customer privacy
Social media erupts with protests and comments
Applebee's public relations department makes mistakes with social media
Alois Bell: An unsatisfied paying customer at Applebee's restaurant
Chelese Welch uploads a picture of the receipt on Reddit
Increased breadth of knowledge
The Cycle of Social Media Crisis
T-shirt colour: "Obamablack"
"Voting is for old people"
Mistakes from the past are part of the present
A condensed history of social media
Social-mediated crisis communications model
Level of complexity