A Subtle Voice in Trying Times: A County in Concern.

Children, the custodians of our future and the preservers of virtuosity, are an integral part of our society, and thus their safety is a paramount concern to world leaders, great generals, workaday citizens et cetera. Therefore, the public education system is not only sanctioned with our youths’ cognitive development but their physical safety as well; because of that, the school district remains the face of liability in the events of potential threats like that of Lake Lucina Elementary School, which recently had a bomb scare in Duval County, Florida.

Given the respectably unfathomable amounts of passion and care parents and guardians confide in their children, it is important for a county to remain concise, prioritise the facts, and ensure all resources are being thrown at the matter. In a sensitive case such as this my crises management team would have tweeted the following: “Students and staff at Lake Lucina ES are safe, and the school has been evacuated. Police are pursuing investigation. DCPS will keep the public updated around the clock.”

This is primarily due in part because parents need to hear, in level of priority, that their children are safe, that if safe are they still in the vicinity of the incident, and that public officials are taking the incident seriously. Also, it is important that school district immerse itself into the situation and stay transparent, for it can remain a credible and empathetic provider of information to parents.

Below is a snapshot of DCPS’s actual response, though not as empathetic in verbiage as the above-cited post, but it stays concise.

Crisis Management

 

 

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Ad Fallout Continues

In a company a big as YouTube (parent company google) it’s not uncommon to see stories of a crisis unfold on the site. This week however, YouTube is under fire when it became apparent that company’s ads were being posted on sites in which they did not wish to be affiliated. More specifically videos regarding hate speech or views which do not line up with the advertisers company’s.

Since the crisis went public it has also spread to parent company google, which is now under the same scrutiny. Since the crisis came into public view google and YouTube have made apologies about the issue and stated that they were looking over their ad policies in an attempt to mitigate the problems. Since both of these companies require advertisements to function this is a major hit to their business and they need to fix it as fast as possible.

Googles response was quick well thought but not transparent enough. To further fix the problem they should look into rewriting the coding that is connected to ad placement. Additionally they need to be upfront with the companies who have frozen ads on the sites and do their best to regain their trust, so that ads may resume. Lastly having a method for being aware of what videos have ads from different companies will allow this to be prevented in the future.

Below is a link with how YouTube responded.

https://www.ft.com/content/4f1b3541-83ac-3cfe-afb1-7aa0747a4806

 

 

 

March Madness Takes On A New Meaning

March Madness viewers in Ohio took to social media with their frustration after CBS affiliate 10TV cut to a black screen during the final seconds of the tied North Carolina-Kentucky game. The station was giving a weather update of a tornado warning issued in the area in a scrolling bar at the top of the screen. Angry viewers tweeted their frustrations   dealing with the black screen, saying the station could have reported the tornado warning in the scroll bar without having cut out the game.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 10.43.29 PM

The station has responded to the viewer frustration with a very simple response.

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 10.52.27 PM

Overall, I think 10TV did a good job by offering a solution to their viewers. If I led a crisis management team for 10TV, I would have first acknowledged and apologized for (or explained, if it wasn’t their fault) the blackout. While offering a solution to the problem is the key to stopping the frustration from continuing, just offering this solution still leaves a nasty taste in viewers mouths. I also would have offered to play the entire game again, not just the last two minutes. People DVR these games and would have been missing just that portion.

Clearly 10TV is not a major TV station (some of the viewer tweets got the same numbers in retweets and likes as the station’s twee), but as a CBS affiliate, they do have a reputation to uphold. March Madness, and similar sporting event package are also a big income for TV stations. Retaining that income means making fans happy. To that, I would also be making a recommendation to the station. I am not sure their current policy for reporting severe weather, but, in my experience, a good way to report severe weather while only mildly interrupting programs is to leave the visuals running but change the audio to a severe weather report. This report starts and ends with the same tone, so it is identifiable as a severe weather report, and is played over television and radio stations.

Google’s YouTube Advertisement Blunder

In a massive company that has found mostly success than failure in its existence, it is now finding its YouTube advertisement campaign to be one its most troublesome failures. It is no secret that Google has placed their own ads and those of corporate partners on its YouTube site. However, it has been recently brought to attention that Google has allowed their ads to be placed on some inappropriate videos. One such example is a radical Islamic video that is shown in the article linked below and on the Facebook group.

Since users have noticed its advertisements, there has been an uproar targeting YouTube’s parent company, Google, which is the source of the advertisements. Since the crisis was brought to attention, Google has since then apologized and are currently re-evaluating their YouTube advertisement policy so their ads will appear in less inappropriate videos. Such changes to their policy may include hiring actual people to monitor their ad algorithms, which may be easier said than done, as YouTube is a host to literally billions of videos with thousands more being posted every day.

Difficult nonetheless, Google should apologize, which they have, and still perhaps hire some monitors for these algorithms. While there is an abundance of content on YouTube, algorithms are in place for a reason. While actual people can’t actively monitor every single video, they can monitor the algorithm, and when an ad appears on a controversial video and users are alarmed, the algorithm is altered.

http://news.sky.com/story/a-serious-problem-that-goes-to-the-heart-of-what-google-does-10808871

Brazil’s meat crisis and how to respond

The biggest meat packing industry in Brazil (JBS) was recently caught bribing a health inspector. The corruption was caught by police wiring tapping and filming the transfer of money to a health inspector. This was to ensure he made the reports clean and gave the plant a passing grade. This is because some smaller industries were taking illegally ground pig heads and putting them in their sausages before shipment. This opened up a huge investigation and mistrust into the food packing industry in Brazil. This industry is also one of the main money makers for the Brazilian government and people. The company JBS on their twitter page has only posted up a message that explains that quality is their highest priority.

Now, if I was heading up a team that needed to handle this situation there is nothing that can immediately fix the situation only have a small influence. Over time hopefully people will forget the incident and move on. The company needs to admit that yes it was caught with corruption and that they will open up an investigation to make sure this does not happen again. Next, then yes post up a statement assuring customers that this was an isolated incident and that customer satisfaction and trust is their highest priority. Only by trying to spin this situation into the company taking responsibility, and then being open to the public can they hope to regain a positive light among consumers. The road to recovery for this company will take months even years but it will recover. The only thing my team can do is to mitigate the damage and try to stay one step ahead of the news outlets. This way we are being proactive to the situation and new developments instead of reacting to them. This seems to be one the best ways to respond to this situation.

If you need the article use this link.

GitLab: With the Press of a Button

GitLab endured what probably was their most significant crisis to date. With the press of a button, an employee accidentally deleted some of their clients’ data from their database servers. Then, the company’s backups didn’t work and GitLab lost access to an enormous amount of data. GitLab shut down their site for 18 hours in order to fix the issue. Below was their initial response.

GitLab.jpeg

GitLab’s response was good because they responded immediately and were somewhat transparent, however, it could still use some improvement. They were vague in their transparency because GitLab didn’t want their customers to know that they lost their data and couldn’t access it with no other information to say, which is understandable. Customers could get ugly when hearing something like this. GitLab still could have been a little more transparent by saying that they’ve identified an issue, although that’s what the “performing maintenance” lingo means, but is not clear for someone who doesn’t know that.

GitLab didn’t post again until the next day, but it was completely transparent then. However, there was nearly 14 hours between posts with no update posts in between. This could prove detrimental for a company, given the situation, but GitLab made it through with the combined post below.

GitLab2.jpeg

My team’s immediate initial response would have gone something like this:

“We have identified an issue with our database servers. Our site may go offline, if need be. We will post updates as we progress through this issue.”

Here, I believe the company would be as transparent as it could get without risking immediate customer backlash in the form of share slander. Meaning, if were 100% transparent right-off-the-bat with no other information in the form answers, our company could easily be subject to negative and destructive press. We have identified an issue and we are letting our customers know that, whereas GitLab just said they were running maintenance. Then, we said the servers may go offline in order to ease our customers into going offline. This is based off my personal experience in that when people hear that something may happen, they then handle it better when it actually happens. Lastly, we would let our customers know that we will be updating them periodically with further information, which GitLab did not do. They just waited until the next day. Frequently updating customers on progress and then answering their questions would further add to the transparency between company and customer. The customer would feel more comfortable, thus mitigating potential damage to GitLab.

Link to article: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/289836