- Published: October 31, 2021
- Updated: October 31, 2021
- University / College: Macquarie University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 25
Public Relations has grownin importance over the past few decades. According to Turk & Scalan (2008),Public Relations is one of the world’s fastest growing professions and areas ofstudy, despite global differences in its practice and teaching (Turk & Scanlan, 2008). In the vast area ofstudy within Public Relations which prominently consists of areas such asmanaging reputation, image management as well as crisis communication; the areaof crisis communication strikes to be as the most interesting. Crisis communication is acritical part of an organizational function; failure to making the best of abad situation will result in massive damages to the organization in terms ofits image and reputation as well as monetarily (Coombs, 2007).
It is the effort taken byorganizations to avoid further damages to the company prior to a crisis. Imagerestoration and changing the perception of the public towards the organizationare amongst the activities included in a certain crisis management plan. Crisisto an organization can be defined by segregating the term into three parts;namely, (1) public safety, (2) financial loss and (3) reputation loss (Coombs, 2007). Organizations willtake a crisis seriously as failure to evade it will result in catastrophiclosses on multiple avenues. Today with the emergence ofsocial media and other forms of online accessible mediums, Public Relations hasevolved as a whole to accommodate the massive changes in the world. Socialmedia in particular has added a completely new dimension to the communicationsconcept. Such advances in new media technology and continual dependency onsocial media mediums has evolved the way companies and organizationscommunicate with their publics (Pang, Hassan, & Chong, 2014).
The emergence of socialmedia has offered companies to utilize such mediums in maximizing benefits butwith risks (Southorn, 2015). Organizations and corporations tend toplay down social media as an alternative in encouraging growth and dealing withissues. In todays’ world, most companies are not prepared in dealing withcrisis as the vast majority of them have the traditional strategies in place,leaving such companies to be vulnerable on social media. Seeing as most of thecrisis’ starting points are online, companies and organizations need to realizethe importance of being prepared on every level possible to avoid disaster. As an example, theresearcher will look into a separate case to see how companies, manage crisisonline. This particular case refers to the United Airlines mismanagement case.The issue erupted when a passenger was forced to disembark the plane toaccommodate for another passenger. The incident erupted amongst the onlinecommunity causing backfire to United Airlines as the company was labelled withthe words ‘harsh’ and ‘inconsiderate’.
The events led to more catastrophe whenthe CEO failed to identify the real problem in this issue (Nazarova, 2017). Without social media, the mishap wouldhave caused even more damage, putting the company on the mere edge amongst thecommunity. With the aid of socialmedia, United Airlines eventually released an apology statement intended forthe victim of the incident with evidently cooled down the issue. All effortsprior to the event was labelled as too little too late as the damage hasalready been done.
It was only down to reducing the magnitude of damages aswell as getting the company back up and running.