Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 96

MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS WHEN DISASTER STRIKES Handling a PR crisis in today’s digital age BY CHRISTINA KIEFER 98 | March 2019 Embezzlement. Executive misconduct. Client data breaches. Organizations that have faced these challenges — and dealt with the public backlash and fallout — know firsthand just how difficult it is to deal with a crisis. Consider United Airlines back in 2017, when passengers on an overbooked flight in Chicago recorded and posted video of airline staff dragging a passenger, screaming and bleeding, off the aircraft. Within hours of the video appearing online, millions had viewed and shared it across social media. The foot- age was brutal, and making matters worse were the conflicting internal and external messages from United, causing additional scrutiny against the airline.