Facebook’s response to Cambridge Analytica ‘not good enough’

Mark Zuckerberg’s four-day delay in responding to the Cambridge Analytica crisis was “not good enough” and will result in employees distancing themselves from the Facebook brand, according to Robyn Sefiani, founder and managing director of Sefiani Communications Group.

During a session at Mumbrella’s CommsCon today, Sefiani noted that in the time it’s taken Zuckerberg to respond, “$49bn has been wiped off the share price of Facebook.”

Sefiani on Zuckerberg’s response: ‘Not good enough’

“Can you imagine how [Facebook’s employees] are feeling right now? It’s taken four days for their leader to respond. He hasn’t shown opennness and transparency.

“Apparently he’s been hunkered down with his engineers in a room trying to figure out what they’re going to do, but that’s not good enough,” she told the audience.

“What he should have done was come out within 15 minutes of this revelation and said: ‘We’re alarmed by what’s happened, it’s going to take us time to come to grips with this, but we will, and we’ll keep you informed.'”

Sefiani pointed to the recent news that employees were leaving the company as an example of what can happen as a result of a crisis.

“We know that Facebook employees are abandoning the company already… They don’t want to be associated with the Facebook brand.”

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s ex-chief information security officer announced he would be leaving the company in August.

David Breen, head of corporate affairs at ING Australia agreed with Sefiani, adding: “The response to a crisis such as Facebook will directly impact the culture. It’ll directly impact the engagement of the employees from the organisation, and speed is everything. So once you build up the health of the culture, then the recovery will be quicker.

“If the culture is already damaged, a crisis will do deep and long-lasting damage, which means you’re not going to attract talent,” he added.

Offering some hints as to what Zuckerberg should have done instead, Sefiani said: “What he missed doing was first of all communicating with us all to say that was what he was going to do. That was the critical ingredient that has been missed.

“What people look for is leaders that show leadership. During a crisis is when leaders are most tested, it’s when communicators like us are most valuable if we’re giving good advice.

“A leader who comes out swiftly to a crisis, who’s honest, who’s transparent, who demonstrates integrity, is saying a lot about his or her company.”


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