Milestone Three- Kjellman.docx - 1 Milestone Three u2013...

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1 Milestone Three – Draft of External Communications Misty J Kjellman Department of Human Resources, Southern New Hampshire University MGT 550: Managing Through Communications Dr. James White March 08, 2020
2 Within most businesses there will be communication with external sources; this could be in the form of stakeholders, contractors, consultants, the media, society at large, etc. [ CITATION Pet17 \l 1033 ]. We’ve already explored how best to manage internal communication, but how do you handle sending out a communication to your external audience? What if that communication is in response to a negative event? While we never want a crisis to occur, systems must be in place to handle communicating with our audiences if one does. A shining example of a company that experienced (what could have been) a business-killing crisis inspirationally well is Johnson & Johnson and the Tylenol cyanide scandal. In 1982, seven people died when they took Tylenol capsules that an individual had managed to poison with cyanide[ CITATION DrH14 \l 1033 ]. Showing compassion and dedication to their consumers over profit, Johnson & Johnson immediately pulled 31 million bottles of Tylenol off the shelves. They halted all advertising and production and offered a $100,000 reward for the perpetrator (equivalent to over a quarter of a million dollars today)[ CITATION DrH14 \l 1033 ]. When the dust settled, Johnson & Johnson introduced their new tamper-seal packaging, as well as pledging to “do better” when protecting their customers in the future. These changes to safety became the industry standard when, in 1983, Congress passed what is known as the “Tylenol Bill,” making it a federal offense to tamper with consumer medical products [ CITATION DrH14 \l 1033 ]. What Johnson & Johnson did well in 1982 was pave the way for change while maintaining a transparent, active role in the crisis their consumers were experiencing. The same cannot be said for RIM executives; in 2011 the CEOs received an anonymous letter from “a senior staff member” that dictated some serious allegations. The letter outlined criticisms with their leadership, product development, and employee culture [ CITATION Jon11 \l 1033 ]. One of the most pressing problems within RIM was the “lack of leadership” and how employees “felt as
3 though they were not being heard” [ CITATION Jon11 \l 1033 ]. Unfortunately, RIM responded (in my opinion, quite poorly. In their response message, they first expressed their disbelief that anyone of “high-level” could have written the message and then began to list off their accomplishments and achievements in the past, present, and going forward[ CITATION Zac11 \l 1033 ]. They made little to no mention of the problems addressed in the original letter (unless it was to disregard them and boast further). This tactic did not prove successful: Blackberry and

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