Crisis Management in The Office

The Office, one of my favorite TV shows, once again dabbled in my profession as yesterday's episode
The-office-nbc revolved around crisis management, PR and social media. It was
another misguided episode in DIY gonzo PR (see this link for the wrap on an earlier show on the same topic).

In an updated twist, there was a lot more talk about social media this time around. 
Just like last time, their collective efforts rendered crisis management an oxymoron.

It all started when word got out that the printers the company now sells spontaneously catch fire (this has been a running sub plot).  Michael confides to the camera that he has
indulged in a little DIY "PR," and spoke with a reporter regarding the product quality issue.

It was funny watching the CEO, played by Kathy Bates, try to find out who was behind the leak(s). Michael played along, and hilarity ensued as he, Joe (the new flunky from corporate) and the CEO conducted an inquisition.
It was a a real whodunit, a kind of fear and loathing meets The Office as the management team grilled the employees:

  • The lawyers and IT came in to do a search of the computers in an attempt to find the leaker 
  • Michael said "smash all the computers!"
  • Eyes were on Kelly because she tweets, blogs, Woofs (as Ryan said, Woofing is the last word in social networking)
  • The IT guy fingered Andy (having caught him taking a video of the printer catching fire for YouTube and writing a letter to an editor) and stormed out flipping a pix elated finger as he quits in disgust

This was not quite how we handle crises in the real world, but it was fun to watch nonetheless.

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