Response to a PR Crisis in the age of Social Media: a Case Study Approach




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International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues (ICCMI2012)



Peer reviewed



As online social networks proliferate, the landscape of marketing is changing. While firms recognize the importance to actively manage their online presence for marketing purposes, web 2.0 users are the content generators and in control over information sharing and their communications. Web 2.0 applications have shifted the power balance from businesses to consumers, the latter sharing information in real-time with each other. As a result, an attempt to suppress what may be considered as harmful information can in fact backfire and have the contrary consequences with the information spreading following an epidemic process through user ties all over the blogosphere. In this paper we discuss the case of an Apple authorized reseller and service provider in Greece, and the manner with which the company responded to a customer’s blog post in which he described his experience with the company. What could have been resolved with an out-of-court settlement, inevitably implicated concepts such as freedom of speech and consumer rights. The company, instead of using social media to reach out to its customers, chose instead to move against the disgruntled customer, which quickly resulted to the company’s viral defamation across the global blogosphere.



e-wom, microblogging, groundswell, online social networks


Zamani, E.D., Kasimati, A.E., Giaglis, G.M. (2012) Response to a PR Crisis in the age of Social Media: a Case Study Approach. Proceedings of the International Conference on Contemporary Marketing Issues (ICCMI2012), 13-15 June, Thessaloniki, Greece,


Research Institute

Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)