Crisis Communications Case Study

This Crisis Communications Case Study revolves around a catastrophe in the travel industry that escalated through social media into a public image crisis for the company. Act as the consulting firm, Conversa Communications, hired by the Board of Directors to handle this communications crisis. State the details and the rationale for your communication strategy. Your goal should be to persuade the Board to understand and follow your communication plan for each key audience affected by this public image crisis. Be sure to include the specific scripts, messages, and/or press releases you suggest they use for each audience – staff, passengers, investors.


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On April 9, “outrage explodes on social media after a video emerges of a passenger being violently removed from United Airlines Flight 3411 bound for Louisville, Kentucky on April 9. Four Chicago Department of Aviation security officers rip the passenger out of his seat, bloodying him in the process. The passenger, later identified as a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor from Elizabethtown, Kentucky named David Dao, had refused to give up his seat for United employees when Flight 3411 was overbooked. On April 11, “Parent company United Continental Holdings kicks off a turbulent day on Wall Street with nearly $1 billion axed from its market value.” (

With their public image harmed and the company’s stock losing nearly $1 billion in one day, the Board of Directors turn to your consulting firm to develop a Crisis Communication Plan to reshape their image, articulate their plan to staff, restore confidence to customers, and keep their stock from losing further value.

Further background on this event can be found at: (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

The focus of this paper should be written justification for the crisis communication plans you utilize along with written statements that will be submitted to the Board of Directors. For example, if you decide to use press releases or send a memo to staff, these must be written word for word and included as a required segment of this paper.

This paper should include citations in APA format.

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