• 7812 Graduate Student Assignment

    via Pixabay user Peggy Marco / Creative Commons

    via Pixabay user Peggy Marco / Creative Commons

    Mistakes happen.

    Sometimes BIG mistakes happen.

    What can we learn from them?

    For this assignment, you will research and write a 10 to 15-page case study detailing the social media misstep on the part of a media organization. This might include what might be traditionally thought of as a newspaper, television station, radio station, wire service, online-only news outlet or brand.

    Some questions you should explore:

    • What happened and how did it happen?
      • Detail the incident, including a chronology of how it came to be. Include details of staffing, whether it occurred during a breaking news event, planned news event, during the course of daily news coverage, etc.
    • Who is responsible for it?
      • Who were the players involved? Who created the post? Who edited it? Who approved it? Was there even an approval process in place?
    • Who found it? When?
      • This will likely be covered in your chronology.
    • How did the audience react? How did competitors react?
    • What was done in an attempt to recover?
      • Describe in detail what the crisis management looked like on the social platform where the event occurred. Did the organization cross over onto other social platforms to convey a new message or image? Did representatives of the organization talk to other media outlets covering the incident? If so, was it the people responsible — or people in a communications/media relations position? Did statements appear “genuine” or “canned?” How were they received by different constituencies?
    • Was it successful?
      • Outline what “success” looks like. Is it simply that the media outlet or brand was able to “move on” with few long-term consequences? Or was there some other definition of success in this situation.
    • What was the long-term impact of the “event?”
      • Loss of audience? Loss of advertisers? Did anyone lose their job(s)? Or, was there just loss of face.
    • What can be done to avoid this in the future?
      • Describe the lessons learned from this incident. Those lessons might be internal or external. Did the organization develop new workflows or approval mechanisms to attempt to prevent something similar from happening in the future? Did the industry develop or adopt “new” best practices?

    Sourcing for this paper should include:

    • News coverage (if available — it most likely will be)
    • Academic research (if available — consider looking for articles on crisis management)
    • Personal interviews with the people involved (may be the person who posted, someone involved in the response, someone affected by the aftermath, a competitor who capitalized on the event)
    • Screen shots of the incident, comments, reactions, etc.


    **Any undergrad student looking to do “honors by contract” will also be required to complete this assignment.

    ----------Posted on July 21, 2016 by in 4812, Assignments

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