Thursday, March 5, 2015

Commonwealth Edison Case Analysis

(Note*: This is a group post by Kerry, Gyu Sik, Trang, Devesh Singh and Neeraj)

ComEd had several social media policies and procedures in place before the storm that aided its successful social media emergency management response, including:
·      Adopting industry best practices
·      Creating dedicated in-house social media staff
·      Housing social media staff with other electronic communication units (eChannels)
·      Using experts to create content and perform fact checking
·      Implemented specific social media use guidelines
·      Determined social media objectives comprised of six approaches with four specific daily tasks.

The challenge of the storm response required ComEd to adapt its social media practices as the crisis unfolded, for instance:
·      Staffing an around the clock in “war room”
·      Reallocating additional experienced staff added from within organization
·      Modifying daily tasks to include posting power outage and restoration updates and accepting outage reports via social media platforms
·      Directing customers to special accommodations.

ComEd also leveraged social media to hold itself accountable for the storm response and to maintain and repair customer trust. These methods included:
·      Conducting three question and answer sessions with a ComEd Sr. Vice President on Facebook and Twitter
·      Inviting six Twitter users to provide recommendations and feedback in a roundtable format.

The class concluded that ComEd could have improved its social media storm response by:
·      Initiating a proactive and interactive relationship with customers prior to crisis events
·      Developing a contingency plan and guidelines for emergency management responses
·      Using traditional media to direct customers to social media platforms.

Important lessons learned from ComEd’s largely successful social media emergency management response include:
·      Establish in-house social media team with expert staff
·      Be informative and responsive to customers
·      Maintain a calm and professional tone
·      Show compassion
·      Make recommendations
·      Build and maintain trust.

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