Social Media Crisis

Brand controversies are prominent on social media. Anyone who is a social media manager will have to deal with these controversies—some of them are the brand manager’s fault, some of them are the brand’s fault, and some of them have many people to blame. Many of these controversies come about because of a brand’s unethical behavior or statements, some come about from lack of attention to potential problems, and a small amount are unforeseeable. No matter how the problem happened or who started it, the brand manager on social media is going to hear about the issue. Thus, it is important for people learning about social media and social media management to study past controversies on social media and think about what to do in those situations.

 

I’d like you to write a 750-1250 word paper on a recent brand controversy and its relationship to social media. You can see examples of social media crises your assigned readings. Each of these controversies resulted in a large amount of social media attention. You may not use Cinnabon’s Carrie Fisher Controversy or adidas’ Boston Marathon Controversy as your controversy, because the example papers are on those topics.

 

To write this paper, you must pick a specific social media brand controversy. You can pick one from the readings in this unit or pick a different controversy if you like. The controversy should be one that started on social media, not that was argued on social media: for instance, the Starbucks Red Cup controversy was argued on social media, but the starting point of the controversy were physical cups, not social media content. The goal of this assignment is to think about a social media controversy from the perspective of a social media manager. How did a brand respond to a social media controversy? Was that response good or bad? What can be learned from the brand’s response to the situation?

 

Student Learning Goal

Students will recognize, understand, and analyze the context within which language, information, and knowledge are produced, managed, organized, and disseminated. Students will also integrate previously held beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge with new information and the ideas of others.

 

The Successful Paper Will

1. Introduce a crisis that originated on social media (10%)

 

2. Explain the brand and what the brand was trying to do that caused the crisis (20%)

 

3. Explain why people on social media responded the way they did (20%)

 

4. Explain how the company responded to the crisis (or if they responded) on social media and why they responded the way they did (20%)

 

5. Analyze whether the company responded well or poorly on social media. If they responded poorly, brainstorm ways that they could have responded better. If they responded well, explain why their response was effective (20%)

 

6. Turn in a draft on time (10%)

 

Stipulations

· 750-1250 words

 

· Images and screenshots are encouraged

 

· Images should be captioned

 

· You should cite in APA articles that you quote, but you do not have to list tweets or posts in your Works Cited page; instead, you should provide in-line links to any social media you cite or include as an image

 

· Works Cited does not count toward word count length

 

· You may send me drafts for my analysis up to 48 hours before the final due date; this will give me time to read it and you time to implement my suggestions

 

· Draft minimum: Your draft should have at least an outline of your thoughts for each section of the paper (sections that correspond to the rubric points, or other organizing scheme that reflects all of the points of the rubric) to get full credit for this paper as a draft.

 

· Due dates for draft and final are listed in Canvas and on the Calendar.

 

Social Media Citation

As for citing social media: if you screencap a whole tweet or Facebook post and include that screencap as an image in your proposal, that post is self-evident in its citation. However, if you quote part or all of the language of a social media post in your report prose, you will need to accurately cite that social media. Here is a link detailing how to cite social media in APA.

 

Formatting

You must cite sources in APA style; however, you do not have to format the paper in APA style. You can choose to format the paper in APA style (double spaced and indented paragraphs) if you wish.

 

I am also giving you the opportunity to format the paper in business style ( also known as the Block Format) instead of APA format, if you choose. In Block Format, you will use single spacing for your paragraphs, place one blank line between paragraphs, and not indent your paragraphs.

 

Also, whether you use APA or Block Style for your formatting, you do not need a cover page or an abstract–but you do need a citations page. (You don’t need to make a thesis out of this assignment, but I would expect your analysis to include support from at least two outside sources.)

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