Social media can be a key component to an organization’s crisis communication plan. Because news has become a 24-7 cycle, the need to control information has become more and more prevalent. Social media allows organizations to control what information is out there for the public to see as well as to frame the issue in ways that benefit the organization and its publics.
In sport, the most recent example of a need for crisis communication is the Penn State scandal that occurred a little more than one year ago. The athletic administrators were forced to deal with the crisis immediately because ESPN and other news outlets quickly responded to the scene and were demanding information and interviews. The administrators tried to frame the issue as an isolated incident, but further information was unearthed that caused the university to change its crisis communication plan.
I think social media can be integral to an organization’s crisis communication strategy. Getting the word out on their own terms and controlling information are desirable for all organizations, and social media allows this to happen. With the number of people on Twitter and other social media sites, the news cycle has changed and companies have had to adapt to this.