Research in Motion: Sincerely, a RIM Employee (A)
(6 pages of text)
On June 30, 2011, Research in Motion (RIM) co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis unexpectedly found themselves facing serious public scrutiny, not from competitors, market analysts, or consumers, but from one of their own senior executives. In an attempt to have their voice heard, an anonymous senior-level RIM employee addressed an open letter to both Balsillie and Lazaridis; however, the letter was sent to the online technology news provider Boy Genius Report (BGR). In a year during which RIM already faced pressures from a dwindling market share, failed product attempts, and a sinking stock price, Balsillie and Lazaridis needed to figure out how to respond to the claims of the letter publicly, but more importantly how to communicate to RIM employees internally.
This case was written to place students directly into the role of an organization facing a public communication crisis. Management must respond externally to mounting speculation, but more importantly must communicate to employees internally to maintain organizational stability. Students must use their analytical and decision-making skills to develop an internal communication plan for RIM’s management to guide the company through the crisis situation. With the assistance of the provided 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:
- Organization leadership.
- Internal communication with employees.
- Developing a crisis communications plan.
- Corporate culture.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
Canada, Large, 2011
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