Week 6- Chapter 11 [Irene Lee @ Khine Yin Win (3119122)]

Chapter 11- Risk, Uncertainty, And Crisis: How to identify and manage team

The emergency landing of Quanta’s A380 at Changi airport and BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, all of which occurred last year are just examples of the crisis that organizations or even individuals can face. In general, such a crisis can happen anytime and any place of the day and the most important factor after the incident is how the organization chooses to react to it.


This is where the organizations public relations come in. The steps they take are going to be of great importance because it will determine whether the company will make further losses, which are both tangible and intangible. Tangible may include the money and stock prices while intangible could mean the fate of the reputation. And at the end of the day, the organization wants to save both.


So yes, when something big and bad happens, the organization’s fate lies in the hands of the public relations. Lets not forget, at such a crucial phase the PRs of the organizations are working closely with the media and even if they choose the method of avoiding, the media is already trailing the organization. One thing to understand is that the media will be the ones framing and letting a great scale of audience hear of the incident. They can choose to interpret it in a positive or negative way. Thus, when a crisis does happen, the best is to stay on top of the situation and show that everything is under control. You can conclude that the media is somewhat the middleman between the organization and the mass audience.


Identifying the issue at an early stage can help to diverge the crisis from taking place. This is most certainly a good method to reduce the risk or probability of a crisis happening, but it does not help when the crisis has already taken place. Many of the times, a crisis is unpredictable and today as we all know news will spread extremely fast due to the technology that society offers and this puts the organization in a tight spot where eventually they are not the ones to know of the crisis first. It also means that there will be a great deal of pressure towards the organization because response has to be prompt yet accurate.


For instance, during the emergency landing of Quanta’s A380 the Qantas media relations team announced that no parts of the plane landed on the Indonesian island, but to their dismay images of a couple holding what clearly seems to be a big part of the Qantas logo from the plane were surfacing over the internet. The contradicting image of Qantas’s statements showed that Qantas failed to check facts and do a well enough research online to what the social media is hyped up about. They eventually made a statement to clarify the issue. Thus, it can be deemed that Qantas was slow in reacting to the crisis in its first stages.


However, to combat the threat of possible negativity they updated their twitter and Facebook page feeds so that the public was able to understand more about the situation. What can be observed from the saga was that Qantas understood the power of social media and quickly saved their reputation from further escalating downwards.



May, K., 2004. Qantas A380 incident: a lesson in social media and web PR. Available at: <http://www.tnooz.com/2010/11/04/news/qantas-a380-incident-a-lesson-in-social-media-and-web-pr/> [Accessed 22 October 2011].

Stanton, R., 2007. Media Relations, Oxford University Press Melbourne.


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