1. Facebook PR crisis
One of most recent crisis situations was faced by Facebook when during the year 2015, a consulting organisation named Cambridge Analytica was found to be accessing data on 50 million of its users Due to this, there was a huge decline in stocks and thus the company faced a major loss by losing more than $37 billion of the market value in just a single day. It was a serious matter of crisis when the researcher of Cambridge University used the Facebook app to extract the data of million of users and it caused a major crisis situation (Watson, 2014). There had been a major breach of trust between Facebook, the social media platform and Cambridge Analytica, which further resulted in loss of data and created major issues leading to decline in market value for the company as well. It was a major crisis because Facebook disclosed what it actually was known to it and thus the user privacy was also hindered. This further resulted in disrupting the financial aspects and reputation of the company, which went beyond the control and affected the openness and transparency level too (Rahi, 2016).
2. Statements as Facebook’s PR counsellor
There were speculations about the involvement of right wing political consulting firm that was funded by conservative donor named Robert Mercer and former White House advisor Stephen Bannon, who were engaged with the crisis situation revolving around the acquisition of data on more than 50 million Facebook users by using third party app. The data was further acquired for the purpose of targeting the Facebook users involving political advertisements aimed at influencing the behaviours and attitudes of people to support campaign associated with Trump. Though it was a major scandal, still, as a PR counsellor, it is to be noted that Facebook should allow the initial data to be accessed by the third party application through considering the fact that proper rules and regulations are needed to be maintained for managing privacy of users and prevention of data loss. As a PR counsellor, it is normal that people’s trust is broken and thus most of them are outraged with the entire situation involving the loss of data on more than 50 million users (Levin, 2014). There must be acceptance of responsibility and make sure that loss of data does not happen again, furthermore make changes to the policies associated with the data security. The customers’ trust were broken and thus it would be important for us to make them know about the crisis situation and what necessary measures should be undertaken for overcoming the crisis to the utmost level possible. Being one of the world’s most recognised and established brands and with a huge market value, when trust and confidence get destroyed, then customers are likely to get de-motivated largely (Geels, 2014).
3. Suggestions to overcome the crisis
The responsibilities must be handled carefully and focus more on political theatre rather than being inclined to public policy. Mark Zuckerberg must be engaged with the hearing room design or layout and also communicate with the Congress members about the specific issue. The entire crisis matter must be handled cautiously and with modesty, furthermore negotiate with the senators to take the right actions. A positive and strong congressional appearance should be maintained for making sure that the controversy is overcome and proper approaches are undertaken for designing new things in Facebook and enrich its experience for the users (Trottier & Fuchs, 2014). Rather than looking back at the mistakes, provable approaches are needed to be undertaken for considering the crisis situation involving Facebook's Cambridge Analytica as a test case, furthermore implement probable measures to learn from the mistakes and emerge from the failure towards a successful future with a positive brand status and great market value.
4. Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook's Leaders Fought Through Crisis
To deal with the crisis situation, the top executives attended a meeting with Mark Zuckerberg along with other federal investigators and congressional executives. There were reported news about suspicious Russia linked activity, which involved Ms. Sandberg too, chief operating officer of Facebook. Facebook has connected more than 2.2 billion people, which not only redesigned the political campaigns, but also has treasured people’s photos, messages, likes, comments ad created good connection between people who use the social media platforms (Coombs, 2014). To overcome the crisis situation, Mark Zuckerberg made sure to conduct a public apology tour involving response to the public and even apologising for such mistakes, furthermore assuring not to do get engaged in any such mistakes again. The chief operating officer, reportedly, was involved in combating the criticism faced through management of a lobbying campaign aimed at shifting the anger of public towards other rivalries and prevent any damage to the brand image or reputation. Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg navigated the entire case and made sure to conduct interviews with multiple people by speaking about the anonymity condition through signing of confidentiality agreements (Graham, Avery & Park, 2015). The entire management took the responsibility to identify the underlying causes of such conflicts and made sure not to repeat such incidents again.
BP Holding Statement
After the crisis situation involving the incident of Deep water Horizon oil spill, BP chief named Tony Hayward testified before Congress and entirely ignored that they had any prior knowledge about the issue. It was a major effective way to respond to people, which not only prevented involvement in any such legal issues, but also helped in remaining sympathetic to the viewers. BP chief Tony Hayward made statements about the congressional committee regarding the oil spill at Deep water Horizon and even stated about the probable measures undertaken for cleaning up, managing health and safety measures, etc. The Chief Executive also should participate in the US House Energy and commerce subcommittee to provide answers to questions asked by people regarding the incident of oil spill at Deep water horizon (Michel et al., 2013). The chief executive officer apologised for the case and assured that no such incident should occur again. A memorial service was arranged for those who lost their lives during the incident and condolences were provided to the friends and families. Various research and development activities were though carried out with the involvement of scientists and engineers from the competitors and partners within the energy industry to ensure smooth functioning of BP as well (Geels, 2014). The workers were trained to strengthen their skills and knowledge, furthermore technical advices were provided on blowout preventers, application of dispersant and options for containment too.
Coombs, W. T. (2014). Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Sage Publications.
Geels, F. W. (2014). Regime resistance against low-carbon transitions: introducing politics and power into the multi-level perspective. Theory, Culture & Society, 31(5), 21-40.
Graham, M. W., Avery, E. J., & Park, S. (2015). The role of social media in local government crisis communications. Public Relations Review, 41(3), 386-394.
Levin, S. A. (2014). Public goods in relation to competition, cooperation, and spite. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(Supplement 3), 10838-10845.
Michel, J., Owens, E. H., Zengel, S., Graham, A., Nixon, Z., Allard, T., ... & Rutherford, N. (2013). Extent and degree of shoreline oiling: Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, USA. PloS one, 8(6), e65087.
Rahi, S. (2016). Impact of Customer Perceived Value and Customers Perception of Public Relation on Customer Loyalty with Moderating Role of Brand Image. The Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 21(2).
Trottier, D., & Fuchs, C. (Eds.). (2014). Social media, politics and the state: Protests, revolutions, riots, crime and policing in the age of facebook, twitter and youtube (Vol. 16). Routledge.
Watson, T. (2014). Let's get dangerous–A review of current scholarship in public relation history. Public Relations Review.