Facebook to contact 87 million users affected by the data breach
This transaction with Cambridge Analytica has resulted in negative publicity for Facebook and reputational attack on its CEO, its operational policies and its business model.
Facebook’s Stakeholder Universe
Facebook has a wide range of both direct and indirect stakeholders. These include employees, shareholders, Facebook users, business partners (e.g. advertisers), regulatory authorities, interest groups and competition.
These groups of individuals interact with Facebook on some level, have various levels of influence and have all indicated significant interest in the current dilemma. For most of them, they have lost trust in Facebook and this can significantly impact its business success and corporate legacy.
Your team oversees communications at Facebook. You are aware of the problem and have received a mandate from Facebook CEO to address those you consider to be the top three stakeholders of Facebook. You are to make a presentation to the CEO, board of directors and senior management on your recommended strategic approach to restoring Facebook’s reputation with these stakeholders.
Your team is expected to develop a presentation to reflect the following:
1) A brief introduction to Facebook – this will include its history and any key points that you consider relevant to understanding the organization and establishing its credibility
2) Your understanding of the problem – this is a brief contextual analysis summarizing the problem and the challenges that it has presented for Facebook
3) Your Communication Challenge – this is an overview of what you consider to be the issue that your communication will be addressing, based on your understanding of the problem. For example, trust is broken, user privacy is uncertain, shareholders are concerned about their investment etc
4) Facebook Stakeholder Universe – this is an overview of the different stakeholders that have some form of interest in Facebook.
5) A profile of the three most important stakeholders – using the audience analysis tool, provide a brief profile of these stakeholders that you have selected. Remember to develop your analysis of their communication needs based on the current crisis scenario
6) Your key message – This is statement (a few sentences, a paragraph at most) that summarizes your strategic message to the stakeholder. It will serve as a guide for all other communication within the company for that stakeholder group. A good key message should evidently be addressing the communication challenge and should align with the profile of that specific audience. To give you some ideas, you may refer to Facebooks latest ad, released in response to the crisis. It attempts to address the Users communication problem – breach of trust and confidence.
Important points and guidelines
Message Acceptability: In communication, we have serial audiences. Good communication, even when addressed to specific stakeholders, should be acceptable to all other stakeholders who may hear the message.
Presentation Evaluation: Your presentation will be evaluated based on the following
1) Your understanding of Audiences – Your presentation should show that you have clearly been able to identify the various stakeholders that matter in a crisis of this nature.
2) Your ability to analyze these audiences – using the audience analysis tool, this presentation aims to evaluate your attention to detail, your deductive abilities and the organization of your thoughts.
3) Your Key messages – this presentation should show a clear distinction in the key messages to all your chosen stakeholders. This means you will clearly identify their needs and even more, you will craft a corresponding message. How you choose to also deliver the message will be considered important.
4) Your Design – you should aim for clarity, engagement and professionalism. Avoid clutter and graphics should support (not distort) your storytelling.
5) Your Communication – this is your first public speaking exercise. Pay attention to your flow from person to person during the presentation, your language and your non-verbal cues
6) Your response to questions – Your team may be required to answer some questions arising from your presentation. Respond with clarity and confidence and remember communication is transactional.
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