“An issue ignored is a crisis invited.”
The story of CEOs burying their heads in the sand instead of facing the media to confront a crisis results in the same bad consequences for organizations time and time again.
Last month, when The Guardian newspaper notified Facebook that they were publishing news of the breach of the data of 87 million users by Cambridge Analytica, Facebook wanted to “kill” the story.
The strategy was to write a timid statement posted on the social network itself, with information less newsworthy than what was to be published by The Guardian, instead of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg making statements to be included in the news story.
The crisis began to spread. But instead of giving a direct statement to the media immediately, like any good crisis plan would advise, the top executives kept quiet for 48 hours.
Then Zuckerberg offered a late apology and an action plan through his Facebook profile, an interview with CNN and shortly thereafter in an unfolding story published in the U.K.
Dispersing its public relations efforts through time, instead of concentrating them on the same day of the crisis, the Facebook CEO granted another interview and a telephone conference with media from around the world over a period of days.
The outcome of this strategy? Facebook lost 16 percent of its capitalization value (about US$11.5 million dollars) as of this writing, walking the same path as British Petroleum (BP), when it failed in 2010 to respond to the explosion of one of its oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
What caused this poor crisis control? When a brand is damaged in such a way,...
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