According to a recent report by the Institute for Crisis Management, negative news coverage of business crises was disproportionately high in 2008. The study, which covered 1,500 print publications worldwide, found that eight of the 16 crisis categories examined showed significant increases in negative press despite minor increases in actual crises.
According to the report, the rise of social media may have played a part, allowing stories to flow more freely and quickly. Other findings include:
• Defects and recalls, business financial losses, hostile takeovers, workplace accidents and deaths and environmental incidents were up 21%;
• Eight of the most crisis-prone industries repeated from the previous year, with food and insurance being the two new additions to the top 10;
• 51 hostile takeovers were big enough to make headlines in 2008, up 38% from the year before;
• Product defects and recalls accounted for 15% of all crises in 2008, including recalls by GM, BMW, Nissan, Ford, Honda, Pontiac, Chrysler and Porsche; and,
• Workplace violence made up 17% of all negative business and school news in 2008, up 18% from 2007.