Crisis Management

Crisis Case: Taco Bell’s 2006 E.coli outbreak


submit a five page doubled spaced paper, written in your own words. 

Your case studies are all from several years ago, probably before the organizations were aware of the benefits of applying theory to their communications practices. But as we have discussed in class, they often followed theory unknowingly, and we can track which theories likely were in play.

Write this paper as if I have no knowledge of your case. Summarize the case, stating what happened, how it happened, to whom it happened, why it happened, and who said what to whom. What are the crisis communications aspects and implications of the case? Give as much detail as you feel you need, but be sure to give enough detail (about 2 pages).

After you have summarized the case, please address the following in your paper (about 3 pages):

• Based on the evidence you have found, what specific communications theory (or theories) did your organization follow—either knowingly or unknowingly—

• Before the crisis? 

o Please be very specific in your discussion of the theories, first defining them and then covering how they applied to the case. 

• What about during the crisis?

o Please be very specific in your discussion of the theory or theories. First give brief  definitions if they’re different from previously mentioned theories, and then discuss  how they were applied. 

• After the crisis? 

o Please be very specific in your discussion of the theory. First give brief definitions if they’re  different from previously mentioned theories, and then discuss how they were applied 

• Whether the organization actually applied theory—either knowingly or unknowingly— what theory or theories may have enhanced the recovery process?  

o Again, please be very specific. Define the theory if it’s different from the theories previously discussed and discuss how it could have helped the organization.  

Your textbook is a great source, and you need at least two additional sources beyond the textbook. I have posted two additional readings about theory on Blackboard. Whenever you draw on or discuss an article or book (including your textbook for the course), you should cite it appropriately using APA style or some other style. You need both in-text citations, with page numbers if applicable, as well as a bibliography at the end.

I’m looking for evidence of deep, critical thought in the content of your work. I also will grade for spelling and grammar. The theory names do not need to be capitalized, even if your source uses upper case. Of course, if you’re using a direct quote and the author has capitalized the name, then you should capitalize it.

Note: please do not misspell or otherwise write incorrectly your organizations’ names or other important names in the cases you discuss. That will be an automatic 15-point deduction for each such error. If there are issues with the content, including factual errors, I will deduct 5 points in each instance. Spelling, grammar and punctuation errors will each receive a 2-point deduction.


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