Rethinking the R.A.C.E. model for a social media world

  • Diane Bégin Thornley Fallis Communications
Keywords: social media, strategy, crisis, issues, two-way communication, iterative,


This practical paper offers a method for the development of a social media strategy for organizations—and especially to organizations in crisis. The authors argue that traditional models for communications planning, like the RACE formula, must be updated to embrace a new environment characterized by the democratizing force of social media, and more specifically, the ways in which the power to frame an issue have shifted. Rather than a linear formula, the authors advance an iterative methodology for communications planning that involves a multi-faceted qualitative and quantitative research program, which is grounded by the principle that a social strategy should always remain in beta. The authors conclude that social media are an invaluable resource for organizations to deliver on offline goals and are especially relevant to communications professionals during times of crisis.

Practical Papers