Going #Rogue: Losing Control of Your Social Media

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Categories: Crisis & Reputation, Media Relations, Social Media, Techniques & Tactics

Social media plays an important role in global public relations strategies. As quickly as social media can build a global brand, it can tear one down at the hands of malicious insiders or hackers. Recently we have seen an increase in the proliferation of “rogue” social accounts across the social sphere. Attacks like these are not new. In 2013, hackers accessed both the Associated Press’ and FIFA World Cup’s Twitter accounts. A single tweet from the APTwitter handle resulted in a $136.5 billion drop in the S&P 500 index’s value in minutes. A year later Burger King’s Twitter account was made to look like McDonald’s while Jeep’s account was hacked noting that the company was sold to Cadillac. Now, well known agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Park Service (NPS) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have all fallen victim to “rouge” takeovers. Rand Research suggests that stolen Twitter accounts are now worth more than stolen credit cards. Rogue accounts attract followers by the thousands, which should be a warning signal for brands across the globe.

Imagine losing control of your company’s online messaging or branding. Crisis communication is evolving and becoming incredibly sophisticated. This webinar will focus on the variables involved in a new era of crisis planning and risk communication. Critical preparedness is important for the public and media when public perception becomes reality as a result of such a breach.

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Learn how companies can be proactive and vigilant when protecting their brand in an effort to mitigate ramifications from rogue sites. Discuss the ramifications associated with the public’s blind trust in anonymous communication.
  • Gain new insights into how to train organizational leaders to react to a crisis including appropriate responses to the public and within social media. Examine the role that PR practitioners play in damage control should a “rogue” or “alt” channel become a reality for your organization.
  • Discover what we can learn about the future of communication stemming from hackers or acts of civil disobedience.
  • Understand the difference between social media guidelines and policies, and begin building the framework for social media policies. Writing social media policies and developing education and compliance training on cybersecurity will help to address vulnerabilities.


Regina Luttrell, Ph.D., assistant professor, Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications

Photo of Regina Luttrell, Ph.D.

Regina Luttrell, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Public Relations and Social Media at Syracuse University where she researches, publishes and discusses public relations, social media for strategic communication, Gen Z and the Millennial generation, and the intersection of social media within society. Luttrell spent the first half of her career managing high-level public relations and marketing activities for Fortune 500 companies, governmental entities, and non-profit organizations. She is the (co)author the following books: Social Media: How to Engage, Share, and Connect, Brew Your Business: The Ultimate Craft Beer Playbook, Public Relations Campaigns: An Integrated Approach, The PR Agency Handbook, A Practical Guide to Ethics in Public Relations, and Trump Tweets. The World Reacts. Understanding What is Relevant and Why.


Susan Emerick, global portfolio marketing, IBM

Jamie Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor, Eastern Michigan University

Photo of Jamie Ward, Ph.D.

Jamie Ward, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of public relations at Eastern Michigan University. As an avid researcher and writer, she publishes and discusses content on public relations, storytelling and ethics. Ward is a social scientist who uses methodologies and theories from communications, media studies, cultural studies, sociology and education. Her work focuses on storytelling for advocacy and engagement. Prior to entering academia, she spent more than a decade in the nonprofit field.



Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 CEUs for a webinar. Learn more about Accreditation maintenance.