Does #Uber have a Crisis Communications Plan?

Landis Communications, our Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) partner in San Francisco, shared a post from Carolyn Said, reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate, on Twitter titled Uber marshals crisis-response for Michigan shooting spree. Side note: I don’t know who runs the Twitter account over at Landis, but apparently we have the same interest in articles! #goodtaste

But the point of Said’s article was that Uber actually did a good job in responding to the crisis at hand.

A few key experts from around the country added to her blog post by saying:

From Sam Singer, Singer Associates: “Uber did the textbook right thing. In the past they may have been inept, but in this tragedy they’re showing that they’ve matured as a company.”

From Glenn Selig, The Publicity Agency: “This case cuts to the heart of what (critics) say about Uber, that it is usurping laws and compromising safety. Uber must underscore to the public that safety of its customers is first and foremost.”

Jonathan Bernstein, Bernstein Crisis Management: Said he’d give Uber a C for its previous responses to problems. “They’ve tended to come off as arrogant,” he said. But this time, he sees the company stepping up.

Here at HMA Public Relations, a Phoenix based PR firm, we have worked with many clients with many different crisis situations including the illegal sale of religious objections in foreign countries, labor issues, slip and falls, suicide and even homicide. One of the key points we always suggest is our clients should have a crisis communications plan in place just in case something happens. We don’t ever want something to happen, but just in case it does, they should always be prepared.

When I look at the job that Uber has done on this specific crisis I would say they did a fair job (possibly a B- and the team at Landis gave Uber a B+). They did post on Twitter on Feb. 21 but there has not been anything since that time. The company also held a press call on Monday with its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and two members of its safety advisory board.

But my real concern is whether Uber has a crisis communications plan. They seem to have had many crisis situations where they either didn’t respond at all or they didn’t respond appropriately. This time they did respond quickly and they showed concern for this situation, but what is their plan for next time? Do they even have a plan?

Now I want to know, what grade to you give Uber’s response?

Written by
at Feb 24, 2016

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