Introduction to Public Relations Theory: PR Case Study in the News

  

PR Case Studies Should Include: 

1) Summary about the PR issue being reported in the news (“Good PR” example, or “Bad PR” example) and the source where it was reported (CNN.com, USAToday.com, etc.)
Example:
The Associated Press reported that a healthcare facility called Hacienda HealthCare in Arizona is in a bad PR crisis after it was reported in the media that one of its patients (an incapacitated intellectually disabled women), had allegedly been raped by a nurse working at the facility and gave birth to a baby.  The nurse has been arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of vulnerable adult abuse, according to court records.
Source: https://www.apnews.com/2c385edbbf8147cdafee5cbb4cdb3bb8 (Links to an external site.)

2) The organization/company’s name involved in the PR crisis/great PR example, mission of the company involved in the PR crisis/great PR example (if you can find it on the company’s website), and purpose (what does the company do in case we aren’t familiar with it):
Example:
Hacienda Heights is a long-term care facility based in Arizona.  The mission of the company is to provide housing and care for disabled residents and seniors. 

3) The key publics, stakeholders, and/or target audiences impacted-stakeholders are the people who can affect or be affected by the organization’s actions, objectives and policies (such as employees, investors in the company, community members, partners/vendors that work with the company, etc.)
Example:
The stakeholders impacted include: other residents housed by the facility, the facility’s employees, families of the residents housed by the facility, the woman’s family, partners of the facility and the local community.

4) PR strategies and tactics being utilized and any ethical issues (For example, is this being promoted through traditional media, social media, events, etc?)
Example:
The company is using social media and traditional press (press conferences, etc), to attempt to manage this PR crisis.

5) Examples of statements made by the company in regard to the issue, excerpts from press releases, social media posts, news coverage, etc., that helps highlight how the PR situation is being managed:
Example:
The company issued a statement to the media in response to the allegations that said x, y and z.  The company also released a statement over its Twitter and Facebook accounts that stated x.  A press conference was also held by the local police department that said the facility was cooperating with local law enforcement.  The public was encouraged to follow the company’s website for the latest news and developments concerning the case.
 

6) Your thoughts on how the situation is being managed from a PR perspective (what you think the company did well, what they could have done differently, etc.), and what recommendations you would make to help the company/person if they were your client and you were the PR professional in charge:
Example:
I think issuing a statement to the media and allowing the police department to hold their own press conference were both smart moves from a PR perspective.  The company’s statement was brief, but to the point and emphasized that the company understood the gravity of the situation, that they were working with local law enforcement and that they were putting new security measures in place to ensure the safety of other residents and to help ensure this wouldn’t happen again.  The company attempted to show empathy in its statement without saying too much that could potentially make them even more vulnerable in the event of a lawsuit.  I think it was smart that the company stayed away from having its CEO participate in a press conference as it bought them more time to investigate the situation and how it could have happened.  If I were the PR professional involved I would have also provided a tipline for concerned citizens to call if they had any additional questions, concerns, or tips related to this story of other concerns of abuse and/or neglect. 

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