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The current study has been conducted for restoring the public relation of Facebook has been harmed in 2018 due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The current study has conducted a situation analysis where internal and external factors and their influence upon the organization’s public relation have been identified. Based on the analysis, the strategic action plan has been developed. A communication plan has also been developed through which the project related discussion can be conducted during the campaign. Along with this, the tools used in the current study has been identified and discussed.
Table of Contents
Background of the organisation.
Strategic action plan.
Communication tools and tasks.
Public relation can be considered as organisational practices that guides perception and manage them for attracting new customers and to improve the loyalty of the customers already existing. The current study will focus on the analysis of the recent public relation issues that took place in Facebook. Company’s PR situation will be analysed based on which the strategic action plan will be developed. Along with this some communicating tools and tasks will also be decided. Additionally, the action plan will be evaluated based in its appropriateness to the current situation of the organisation.
Facebook is a social media site that is launched by Mark Zuckerberg. Interestingly, after only 24 hours of launching the platform, 1200 students have been observed to have their accounts in Facebook. The owner of the platform extended the reach of the network to the Boston universities, the Ivy League and other US universities gradually. The Facebook features have been started to develop during 2007 (Alaimo, 2018). In spite of the recent times, The PR issues have also taken place previously where the newly registered students complained that the University Authority was checking their personal profiles.
It has been found that the current organisation has face PR related problems for exposing the 87 million Facebook user data to a researcher of Cambridge Analytica in the year 2018. However, the Facebook authority failed to address the issue immediately which caused harm to the Public relation of Facebook (Shukaev, 2019). The main issue started from reluctance of the authority to obtain consent from the users, whose data has been used for political purpose. The purpose of using the data has not been justified in integrated manner. For instance, while some authority took an apologetic stance for the situation, others argued against calling the issue of breaching data (Wong, 2019). Moreover, the revenue of the company has been observed to fall down since the last quarter of 2018 due to heavy damage to the public relations of the current organization.
In order to restore the Public Relation of Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal it is required to identify the strengths and opportunities that Facebook have along with its weaknesses and threats that can increase difficulties in reaching to the solution.
· Larger outreach
· Great understanding of the Audience
· High online presence
· Overdependence on advertising
· Friction in management
· Portfolio diversification
· Increased integration to other applications
· Increased regulations
· Loss of reputation due to data breach accusing
Table 1: SWOT analysis
Facebook has a great understanding about its audience. Therefore, it will be highly convenient for the company to diversify its products understanding customer needs (SO). As the company has larger outreach, it can use its effective marketing strategies to guide the perception of public about Facebook for restoring the lost reputation (ST). It has been found that the accountability of the Facebook authority figures have turned into weaknesses of the top level management of the company (Shukaev, 2019). It is becoming a barrier to exploit the opportunity to tie up with other companies or services for integrating different applications with Facebook access and changing perceptions of the customers (WO). As an external force, increased regulations regarding personal data breach and using intellectual properties can be addressed by correcting the friction in management (WT).
Tying Strategy to Objective
The strategic goal of the current organisation in the face of deteriorating public relations is “To use communication and actions that improve relationships with key members of the Facebook community in order to successfully restore the reputation of the company.”
In order to restore the reputation and public relation of Facebook within one year, 50% increase in the student community awareness is required to be achieved. As per the image restoration theory, different tactics can be taken under consideration by the organisational authorities when they are accused for an action and the act is considered offensive (Boison, 2016).The tactics include denial about the act, Evasion of responsibility, Reducing offensiveness, corrective action and mortification. However, the appropriate strategy of the organisation can be reduction of offensiveness, correcting actions. Initially, the Facebook authority used the strategy of mortification where it tried to apologise in front of target audience, in spite of which the revenue fallen down. Therefore, Facebook requires takingcorrective actions by making the user database more transparent along with extensive demonstrations of service security (Wang & Park, 2017). It will also help in reducing offensiveness.
The age of the target audience toward whom the strategy will be used is between 18 and 25. Both females and males will be targeted and specifically the audience will be attached with university or college courses (Talesh, 2018). The brand messages will be delivered to the student community attached to Facebook from all over the world. The student community is well aware of their rights and is concern about their privacy, is adventurous and spends a lot upon their entertainment.
Choosing communication channels
Facebook has a high online presence along with which, other social media platform can be used for conveying the message to the targeted public. Apart from that, press releases can also be a part of the campaign to restore the lost reputation.
In order to communicate the action with the targeted audience, the organisation may use different communication channels such as different social media platform including its own outreach, Twitter, Instagram and other platformsthrough which it can penetrate into the cognitive aspects of the customers. Facebook may plan to release its progressive measures for making the database transparent and modifying security system as per the public demand. Facebook also have great understanding of the audience and high online reach (Triantafillidou&Yannas, 2020). These two strengths of the organisation, the messages for improvement in public relation can be communicated by the current organisation. On the other hand, the employees that are about to implement the PR campaign will be trained for tactfully handling the dilemma of answering public questions.
Development of database
Maintenance of data base
Distributing of messages
Executing the plan
Table 3: Budget
As per the Paine’s evaluation of effectiveness strategy there are four concerns that are required to be addressed.
Define your benchmark
The benchmark set for this current campaign is to increase 50% awareness of the public about the modification or corrective actions of Facebook against Databreach within the time frame work 1 year.
Select a measurement tool
Facebook can use the share of voice as a metric for measuring the effectiveness of their PR campaign. In order to achieve the same it required to conduct a follow-up survey. As per the views of Wahid &Budiwinarto (2020), a follow up survey is a type of data collection method through which the target audience (that are the university or college students aged between 18 and 25)can be surveyed in a repeated manner. It will help in noticing the changes in the perception of the target audience through the increased awareness about Facebook’s concern regarding data protection.
The relevant data that are required to be analysed in order to develop understanding about the effectiveness of the current organisations PR campaign, it is required to percentage of the articles and key messages conveyed through the articles on Facebook’s recent activities (Petersenet al. 2017). The clip counting can also be analysed to understand the media coverage the company is getting.
Actionable conclusions, and make recommendations
If the actions taken under consideration cannot be successfully placed, some relevant actions will be taken under consideration for modifying the strategies in achieving the set objectives and the goal. If Facebook does not manage to increase count in clipping it might take a different action such as engaging audiences into the decision making by surveying on them (Bennett & Manoharan, 2017). It can be recommended to the current organisation to increase integration into the management system so that the planning regarding maintenance of public relation through press meeting and conveying integrated message. Apart from that, it requires to develop a system for taking consent from audience in more informative manner.
In conclusion, it can be stated that the world’s largest social media site Facebook has faced some PR related problems due to data sharing which took the company to face loss of reputation. However, the strengths identified that are helpful in meeting the goal of the current organisation to increase awareness of the public for restoring the reputation includes high outreach, increased social media presence and huge understanding of the audiences. Apart from that, the company can take corrective actions for making the database more transparent.
Alaimo, K. (2018). The five biggest corporate PR disasters of 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2020, from https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/the-five-biggest-corporate-pr-disasters-of-2018-20181221-p50nle.html
Bennett, L. V., & Manoharan, A. P. (2017). The use of social media policies by US municipalities. International Journal of Public Administration, 40(4), 317-328.
Boison, R. A. (2016). A social media case study incorporating Benoit's image restoration theory in crisis communications.
Petersen, L., Fallou, L., Reilly, P., &Serafinelli, E. (2017, May). Public expectations of social media use by critical infrastructure operators in crisis communication. In ISCRAM.
Shukaev, A. (2019). Facebook Inc. Strategic Analysis and Recommendation.
Talesh, S. A. (2018). Data breach, privacy, and cyber insurance: How insurance companies act as “compliance managers” for businesses. Law & Social Inquiry, 43(2), 417-440.
Triantafillidou, A., &Yannas, P. (2020). Social media crisis communication in racially charged crises: Exploring the effects of social media and image restoration strategies. Computers in Human Behavior, 106, 106269.
Wahid, U., &Budiwinarto, A. (2020). Cyber Public Relations for Building Image Restoration of President of Indonesia Joko Widodo Based on Blasphemy Case of Jakarta Governor Candidate Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok). Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal, 5(SI1), 41-46.
Wang, P., & Park, S. A. (2017). COMMUNICATION IN CYBERSECURITY: A PUBLIC COMMUNICATION MODEL FOR BUSINESS DATA BREACH INCIDENT HANDLING. Issues in Information Systems, 18(2).
Wong, J. (2019). The Cambridge Analytica scandal changed the world – but it didn't change Facebook. Retrieved 19 August 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/mar/17/the-cambridge-analytica-scandal-changed-the-world-but-it-didnt-change-facebook
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