Chapter while accommodative strategies emphasize image repair which is

Chapter 1

1.1 
Introduction

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Crisis
communication is needed by companies when each time a crisis arises. In
nowadays, technological advances have help a lot in any crisis situation, they
are reworking and spread out information to worldwide and to affected
communication in quick and less demanding ways. In step with Wolf and Mejri
(2013), technological which means new media, included blogs, content driven
communities, computer multimedia, internet website such as Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter and YouTube. Social media has made a space in which individuals or
groups are progressively able to freely and namelessly express emotion, disagree,
making and uncovering issues requiring a corporate reaction expressed by Coombs
& Holladay (2010). The important way to reduce negative impact to the
organization’s image and reputation, is to have effective and compelling
communication of the crisis with stakeholders and shareholders. According to Luoma
Vilma and Marita (2010), the organization or individual who will be crisis
communicators need to understand, construct and convey messages in directly or
indirectly way to affected stakeholders and crisis communicators and they should
also prepare to receive and respond immediately to feedback from these
audiences.

In crisis
communication, defensive strategies avoid crisis responsibility and it is ended
up less successful when organization seen as having obligation during crisis
while accommodative strategies emphasize image repair which is required as
image harm increments, corrective their action and fully apology are must
include.    

1.2 
Background
of the Study of KFC Malaysia

KFC, which is stand for Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is the world’s
second-largest fast food restaurant chain, as measured by their sales,
after McDonald’s. KFC has almost 20,000 locations globally in 123
countries and it is specializes in fried chicken. In Malaysia, the first KFC Malaysia located at Jalan
Tunku Abdul Rahman in year 1973. There are currently over 600 KFC restaurants
nationwide serving Malaysians great tasting chicken 365 days a year. The
mission and vision of KFC Malaysia is constantly working to better serve
customers with great moments, excellent services and Finger Lickin’ Good food.

1.2.1 Fighting incident

On 6th
February 2012, a video uploaded on YouTube and show that the fight incident taking place at KFC I-City in Shah
Alam. The video have 28 seconds and shown that a KFC employee was punching a
customer in the face in front of customers. Early in the video, a few of the
blue-shirted employees charged out from behind the counter, and their manner threateningly
at the customer. The viewed of video has half of million times. In the video
shown that a few of the workers shouted at the customer. One of the
workers was seen hold and push his colleagues in order try to calm them down,
and stopped another worker that try to run towards the man. During everyone try
to calm down, suddenly one of the worker pass by others punched the customer in
the face, and grabbing his neck and kicking him into a table. Some witness
screamed and stunned.  A female worker
was quickly led back the worker who punch the customer back to counter.

The video caused a clamor to emit on Facebook, with
many people are angry about the fight incident and also the worker. A
KFC Holdings spokesman told Free Malaysia Today that the company was aware of
the video and was currently investigating the matter. KFC also post on their
official Facebook page to announce that the staff involved have been suspended
pending investigation. There have many netizens comments on KFC Malaysia
official Facebook page that KFC Malaysia irresponsibility, and many netizens
are unsatisfied about the attitude of the KFC Malaysia staff. During the
incident, many netizens give negative and angry comments on KFC Malaysia
official Facebook page stated that KFC Malaysia failed in handle this incident
and should give apologies as immediately.  

After 12 days of the
incident, KFC Malaysia has met and offered their apologies to Danny Ng Chee
Fei, who was assaulted by a kitchen crew member at I-City KFC outlet in Shah
Alam. The fast food chain’s deputy president Alan Au met Ng and his family to
extend his regrets and apology during a short meeting at Wisma KFC in Jalan
Sultan Ismail.

1.2.2 Social media – Facebook

Facebook,
as a social media and it is a trend in nowadays, was launched by Mark
Zuckerberg in 2004. It allows users to create profile pages, share posts, add
photo or video, comments and communicate with their friends. There have more
than 500 million users are using Facebook no matter at where. According to Jung
Ki and Nekmat (2014) defined that Facebook play an important role in social
media because have more than 500 million users and statistic show that 41% of
day by day active on social networking platform. More, Jung Ki and Nekmat (2014)
also stated that Facebook also can act as effective tool for companies in
period of crisis, it can allow companies to avoid crisis happen, and however
Facebook also have threat for companies’ reputation and image if they have poor
communication. Therefore, KFC staff fighting incident video occur, the crisis
started on KFC Malaysia official Facebook page. Public started comments on KFC
Malaysia Facebook page, and ask KFC Malaysia immediately apologize.

1.3 Research
Problem

Crisis can
bring serious negative impact to the reputation and image of organization no
matter what type of crisis. They can sometimes threaten and impact of the
organization. Social media is a trend and also globalization. Austin, Liu, and Jin (2012) noted
that the advancement of new communication technologies provide more
opportunities on communication field, make it more convenient and in two-way interceded.
This research is aim to find out how exactly does social media affect crisis
communication. To these ends, by analyzing the crisis response strategies that
KFC Malaysia adopt in handle this Facebook crisis communication. Crisis
response strategies, which is SCCT as a theory emphasize the public’s emotions
are based on crisis situation and also shaped by type of crisis. This study
exploratory there are some researches regarding social media in crisis
management but the aftermath of the crisis in terms of the public’s response
towards the company and its reputation are yet to know and the uses of social
media, Facebook are becoming very significant as they can become an alternative
in handle company’s crisis communication whether it happen digitally or the
other way. Therefore, the crisis response strategies of the company that they
adopt it when crisis and the response of public can be an interesting area to
be studied.

1.4 Research objectives

1.     
To
study crisis response strategies were adopted following by KFC Malaysia in
handle social media crisis on Facebook.

2.     
To
find out the respond of the public towards KFC Malaysia use social media in
solving social media crisis.

3.     
The
relationship between the public’s acceptance and KFC Malaysia crisis response
strategies adopted in relation to the frequency and volume of public’s responses
generated on Facebook.

1.5 Research questions

1.     
What
were the crisis response strategies adopted by KFC Malaysia on Facebook?

2.     
How
public respond towards KFC Malaysia use social media in solving crisis?

3.     
What
was the relationship of public’s acceptance and KFC Malaysia crisis response
strategies adopted in relation to the frequency and volume of public’s
responses generated on Facebook?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The
previous analysis make it clear that organization should always get prepared
and adopt crisis response strategies in effectively when get into crisis. The
cause of social media crisis occur is when bad news about the organization is
circulated on social media. Therefore, organizations need to be get prepared
and take it serious in issues including the following, what type of social
media that should be used at every stage of crisis management, the amount and
type of crisis information content that needs to be transferred and
communicated from traditional channels to social media, the roles and responsibilities
and skills of staff and spokesman that should handle the internal and external
crisis communication through social media.

To
conclusion, future research is required in order to evaluate the awareness and
how organizations effectively use social media as a tool to handle social media
crisis. According to Sigala (2012) give an example that future studies may study
issues about public’s response and preferences of social media for crisis
communication, the impact of social media is negative or positive that affected
image or reputation of organizations. Therefore, it is important to find out explore
the organization’s credibility after the social media crisis in terms of the
customer’s respond towards the organization. This study can help the other
organizations to understand better on how to manage a crisis by using social
media.