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Does framing a crisis to your stakeholders matter? : how an organizational crisis response strategy affects media coverage

Nijkrake, Jos (2013) Does framing a crisis to your stakeholders matter? : how an organizational crisis response strategy affects media coverage.

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Abstract:An organizational crisis threatens the reputation of the organization. To protect its reputation, organizations can frame and define the crisis to the media. This study examines how an organizational crisis response strategy affects media coverage. By means of a content analysis, media coverage involving an organization with a passive crisis response strategy and media coverage involving an organization with an active crisis response strategy is analysed and compared. In total, 446 newspaper articles have been analysed. Also, corporate communication coverage regarding the organization with the active crisis response strategy (n=24 news articles) is analysed and compared with media coverage. Examined was how media coverage and corporate coverage is framed in terms of the five most common news frames (i.e. human-interest, conflict, responsibility, economic consequences and morality) and tone-of-voice toward relevant stakeholders. Findings indicate that media coverage involving organizations with opposite crisis response strategies differ somewhat in how they frame a crisis. In terms of news frames, both crises are framed in the same order of news frames. However, the tone-of-voice toward internal and external stakeholders significantly differed. Internal stakeholders are covered significantly more negative in media coverage involving an organization with an active crisis response strategy, than in media coverage involving an organization with a passive crisis response strategy. In contrast, external stakeholders are covered significantly more negative in media coverage an organization with a passive crisis response strategy, than in media coverage involving an organization with an active crisis response strategy. Where the media to some extent differ in how they frame a crisis, results show that the media significantly reframe an organization’s crisis response. First, the media frame a crisis significantly more in terms of conflict, responsibility and economic consequences, than corporate coverage. However, corporate communication was not framed in terms of responsibility and morality at all. Also, the media have framed the crisis in terms of economic consequences before the organization has. The media also reframed an organization’s crisis response in terms of tone-of-voice toward relevant stakeholders. All stakeholders are covered significantly more negative in media coverage, than in corporate coverage. Furthermore, the media has covered more stakeholders than the organization in crisis (i.e. local government and national government were covered in media coverage and not in corporate communication coverage). Keywords Crisis communication; crisis response strategy; framing
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63729
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