State unemployment agencies stick to traditional means of communication, ignoring social media to defuse negative publicity
What happens when your crisis communication plan doesn’t fit the current crisis?
From a PR perspective, that’s a potential nightmare — one that was dropped on Carpenter when he got a call from a reporter. “It was just sprung on me one day,” Carpenter says. “It was a situation where I was forced to say, ‘I’m going to manage this crisis as best as I can.’”
And while the agency does have a crisis management plan, this scenario didn’t really fit into it. “We couldn’t pull out the plan and say, ‘OK, we need to do this, this and this,’” Carpenter explains.
So the agency went with a strategy that focused on traditional, well-established media outlets throughout the state, reaching out to as many newspapers and television stations as possible.
Oklahoma’s reactive PR efforts highlight the challenges facing state unemployment agencies as they try to cope with a historic upsurge in unemployment claims.