Nestlé: A Social Media Nightmare
Strategic Communication Plan
Submitted to Dr. Iman Seoudi
Presented by Menat Farag
Table of Contents
Key Messages and Channels
Post Crisis: Communicating Through Social Media
Key Performance Indicators and their Evaluation
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the case “Nestlé: A Social Media Nightmare”. First, a situational analysis will be presented to assess the current crisis Nestle is undergoing along with the communicational mistakes made and their implications. Next, a communication plan will be suggested to Nestlé’s management for during and post crisis. Designed communication messages aiming at overcoming the crisis effect will be proposed to Nestlé’s team in order to regain and maintain the company image. Finally, major KPIs that would guide the evaluation of the communication Plan will be discussed.
Nestlé is undergoing a major crisis as a result of the PR campaign launched against it by the Greenpeace organization. The response of the management team to the opposing campaign has played a major role in its success and consequently the image of the company was damaged. This has lead to a major drop in Nestlé’s stock price. In order to clearly assess the problem and resolve it, major mistakes made along with their implications need to be addressed. First, withdrawing the video in contrast to what the management perceived at the moment had done more damage than good. As stated in the case according to Greenpeace Forest campaigner Freya Putt: “By pulling the video from You Tube, it inspired more people to want to watch the video”. By taking this action Nestlé has pleaded guilty to the crime and made Greenpeace case more solid. The management clearly responded impulsively without taking the time to weigh their actions and its consequences and that is what led to the real disaster. If the management had taken time to rationally analyze the situation they would have reached this conclusion themselves and would have figured that their real problem was not in the video but rather on Greenpeace’s position against them. Their efforts then should have been channeled in this direction. Second, the removal of the video was followed by no comments. Again, this helped in weakening Nestlé’s position. What the management ceased to see here is that offering no explanations and no attempt to communicate with Greenpeace after removing the video had greatly shaken the company’s image. A conference call should have been made with the NGO officials, in which Nestlé could have clarified its position regarding Sinar Mas group, that the matter was indeed under investigation and that the necessary course of action will be taken as soon as possible. Then Greenpeace could have slowed down its attack on the company. Not contacting the NGO gave the impression that Nestlé was indifferent. As a result the NGO was provoked into reposting the video on other websites and hence encouraging its supporters to attack the company on its corporate Facebook page. Third, the way Nestlé responded to its fans on the Facebook page made them lose trust and shattered the company’s credibility. The company should have responded to their comments by stating that the subject was under investigation instead of engaging in an array of arguments that did more harm than good. Moreover, a senior manager should have addressed the fans in order to show the company’s concern and establish goodwill. This could have calmed down the opposition and slowed down the attack. Finally, what really caused the crisis was that it was highly predictable and yet was not avoided; which backfired at Nestlé. The facts were all evident and clear: * Greenpeace...
References: Bigio, B. (2010) Nestlé: A Social Media Nightmare, case, The University of Western Ontorio: Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation.
Boivee & Thill, “Business Communications Essentials,” 4th edition, 2010.
Munter, “Guide to managerial communications,” 8th edition, Pearson, 2009.
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