University of Twente Student Theses


Crisis communication via social media : the interplay of sender, crisis type and brand type

Hardell-Illgen, S.M. (2015) Crisis communication via social media : the interplay of sender, crisis type and brand type.

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Abstract:In the last decade social media has become increasingly part of strategic crisis communication, due to its dialogic nature as well as its far reach and speediness to spread messages. Yet, classical crisis communication research has neglected the factors influencing crisis communication via social media. This study contributes to this research field by experimentally investigating to what extend the sender, either brand or traditional media, and the crisis type, either symbolic or functional, affect the outcomes of a crisis message for brands. Furthermore, brand type is investigated as a moderator and cultural differences were considered. Results indicate that disclosure of a crisis message by the brand lessens the negative effects of the crisis on brand reputation and the attitude towards the brand. Moreover, if the crisis is related to the values and ethics of the brand, brand-disclosure becomes even more favourable than in a crisis related to product failure. Also, results show that neither sender nor crisis type affect the likelihood with which consumers engage in secondary crisis communication (e.g. sharing of the message) or secondary crisis reaction (e.g. boycotting the brand). Lastly, functional brands are more likely to be boycotted due to a symbolic crisis and cultural differences have significant effects in crisis communication.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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