The practice of crisis communication has evolved since the rise of digital technologies and social media. Defined as an unexpected and non-routine event with high levels of uncertainty, crisis management plans and strategies are essential for organizations’ successes. Failure to strategically manage crises through both traditional and digital media may result in significant damages and losses. This MRP examines a recent corporate crisis - the case of
Chipotle Mexican Grill during the 2015-2016 E. coli outbreak across the United-States - and looks at how the social media strategy (namely Twitter) influenced the outcome of the case. Using a combination of data analytics, company financials, and theoretical frameworks, this research brings to light the importance of measuring online data, and makes suggestions on how companies may use social media to manage various types of crises.
Keywords: crisis communication, crisis theory, crisis management, crisis strategies, image repair, social media, crisis and technology, brand equity