Sunday, September 7, 2008

Data Warehouse Support in Crisis Management

Duncan (2005, pp 562-3) recommends a crisis management plan be in place before a critical event strikes so the company is not improvising while the media and public are expecting a well-reasoned response. He says the plan should address the following elements:

  • Internal notification list
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Who is assigned to address communications with each separate public
  • Who is authorized to talk to the press
  • General guidelines on what to say
  • Examples of discussion that has legal implications
  • General actions for different scenarios

Adelman (2003, p 16) describes the very beneficial use of data warehouses and business intelligence during crisis or issue management. Data warehouses can help upper management answer questions related to the crisis or issue. Too many times they are put on the spot, and end up doing a song-and-dance in front of the press instead of dealing with facts. Without a data warehouse it is more difficult to find information on the background and/or to justify a course of action.

It’s important to investors, to employees, to customers, and the other relevant publics that management acts in an informed manner. Too often they appear unaware of the situation. Here IT can help.

A prime example of successfully handling a crisis is the well-known Diet Pepsi case (see crisispublicrelations blog for background). Diet Pepsi ran into trouble when consumers began “finding” foreign objects in cans of Diet Pepsi. A variety of different objects were found including a syringe, a bullet, and even a crack cocaine vial. The corporation knew that there was no possible way for these objects to be inserted during the bottling process. As a result, Diet Pepsi used a defensive strategy claiming its innocence. They communicated openly with the public, attacked the accusers, and allowed their bottling process to be shown on the news. Temporary damage had been done to Diet Pepsi, but they quickly rebounded from the situation.

The high-speed nature of modern bottling plants makes such strange events almost impossible. Mansky (2003, pp1-3) explains Pepsi’s public relations strategy. Pepsi used a defensive strategy, touting its innocence. They attacked the questionable accusers, communicated openly and truthfully with the public, worked with the FDA (who later became an intervening public for them) and published a video news release of their bottling plants.

Many believe the “victims” tried hoodwinking their way to prosperity.

According to Mansky,

“Because Pepsi took immediate action to create a crisis communications plan that involved several departments and focused on four key principles, it was able to resolve the crisis while defending its position and upholding its reputation. Pepsi’s plan included specific goals and objectives, targeted four precise publics and was the result of valuable research, all which helped it to be successful. The support of the FDA as an intervening public was also crucial for Pepsi’s success in this case.”


Adelman, Sid (2003). Measuring Data Warehouse Return on Investment. Retrieved on April 16, 2008 from

Duncan, Tom (2005). Principles of Advertising and IMC. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Mansky, Amy (2003). There’s a Syringe in my Pepsi Can. Retrieved on April 17, 2008 from

1 comment:

Priya Kannan said...

Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I get actually loved to account your blog posts.
Data Warehousing Training in Chennai