Public Relations : Crisis Communication

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One of the crucial topics of Public Relations is crisis communication. (Fearn- Banks, 2001) denotes that the public relations program are developed either to prevent a crisis or recover from one. In the era of internet and social media more and more studies pay attention about how to deal with crisis with the maximum use of PR activities. Researchers nowadays focus on ‘new’ media and how this can be implemented in public relations practices. There is a new term that is introduced ‘public relations 2.0’ that is used to denote the application of ‘Web 2.0’ media and communications. Public relations 2.0 is basically all about new media, new tools and new audiences. (Deidre Breakenridge, 2008) confers "how the Web has evolved into thousands of…show more content…
Failure to handle such crisis lead to immaculate public relations nightmares, (Oshins & Sonnabend, 1998). For instance ‘Benefit’, a beauty brand participated in a fat-shaming hashtag on Twitter. The customers were furious after the brand took part in the #MakeAMovieAFatty hashtag. This involved incorporating offensive terms into film titles. Unfortunately the brand instead of apologizing to the customers they tweeted an explanation casually (refer to Appendix). They also deleted some of the Tweets but, finally ended up apologizing. They learnt their lesson however, many users and followers of the brand was so upset that they posted of never using the product again. It is difficult to trust a brand once they offend their customers. Following the incident, the followers further launched a petition, #BoycottBenefit. This crisis proved people are slow in forgiving especially when they believe the company did not handle the crisis effectively. In order to avoid such discrepancies organizations need to enforce thorough crisis management policies including post-crisis discourse (Seeger et al., 2005). Generally there are three phases of a crisis; a pre-crisis phase, an acute phase which follows a dramatic event, and a post-crisis phase when questions on the reason and precaution is addressed (Falkheimer & Heide, 2006). Today, when we think about crisis we think
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