Tomorrow, Melissa and I will be discussing the theories behind Corporate Crisis Communication. Specifically, I will be focusing on the social-mediated crisis communication model (Liu et al., 2011). When it comes to crisis communication, social media can be a company’s friend or foe. Corporations need to integrate social media into their crisis communication plans because in today’s world there is not just one source of media that people retrieve their news from. Because of how information travels on social media, be it organization or third-party driven, corporations should incorporate this tool as a way to directly supply up-to-date critical information to the public. Otherwise, information about the crisis could go viral from third party who might not have all the facts straight.
Social media channels can be powerful tools that companies have at their disposal to assist with communicating vital information to their publics. However, Liu et al. (2011) found in 2009 only 29% of U.S. companies had a formal social media policy. Hopefully, four years later the percentage of companies who have a social media crisis plan has increased.
What happens when corporations do not include social media into their crisis communication plans? What do they lose by not including social media in their plans?
Liu, B.; Austin, L.; Jin, Y (2011). How publics response to crisis communication strategies: The interplay of information form and source. Public Relations Review, 37, 345-353.