Research in Motion: Blackberry Blackout (A)
(5 pages of text)
Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of Research in Motion (RIM), faced a situation of truly disastrous proportions. Earlier that week, service outages had started occurring on RIM’s popular BlackBerry smartphone devices, affecting over 30 million BlackBerry users globally. For a total of three days, RIM engineers worked around the clock to fix the widespread technical problems. However, with the company providing only brief comments to the public, many consumers and industry officials became increasingly frustrated. With the worldwide release of the new Apple iPhone 4S just days away, Lazaridis was presented with the additional challenge of how and if RIM should respond publicly to help restore consumer and market confidence.
This case was written to place students directly into the role of an organization facing a crisis situation, to which mounting external pressure and public speculation requires the organization to officially respond. Students must use their analytical and decision-making skills to develop a communication plan that RIM management could use to guide the company through the crisis situation. With the assistance of the communication plan framework, students must decide upon a starting point, strategy, and tools in order to formulate and deliver a successful communication plan. Possible areas of focus:
- Developing a crisis communication plan.
- Consideration of different stakeholders.
- Message delivery.
- Managerial leadership.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Canada, Large, 2011
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