Tehelka in Crisis
(5 pages of text)
A managing editor is attempting to navigate a communications and leadership disaster after receiving an email from one of her colleagues at Tehelka Magazine (Tehelka), alleging that the founder/proprietor/editor-in-chief of the magazine had sexually assaulted her. Although the managing editor felt that she handled the situation appropriately via her communications with the victim, the perpetrator and other Tehelka staff, the crisis worsened when those communications were leaked to the media and the general public. In addition, the victim resigned, asserting that the managing editor, a renowned crusader of women’s rights, had been dismissive and overly tolerant regarding the complaint. When both the victim’s resignation email and the editor’s acceptance of that email were also leaked to the media, it generated a fresh round of controversy and debate on the manner in which Tehelka had handled the entire issue and forced the managing editor to announce her decision to step down from her position with Tehelka as well. As she prepared to face the press regarding her resignation, the managing editor could not help but wonder what she could have done differently in handling this difficult situation.
This case was written to present students with a difficult corporate crisis communication situation, aggravated by the impact of social, print and online media.
Suggested courses include:
- Crisis Communication: Deals with appropriateness of communication at a time of crisis in an organization.
- Corporate Communication: Covers issues such as communication with internal/external stakeholders and the media, and developing an organization’s reputation.
- Business Communications: Covers issues such as public relations and crisis communication.
- Legal Aspects of Business.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
India, Small, 2013
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