International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Crisis Communication Strategies and Reputation Risk in the Online Social Media Environment
Venus Hosseinali-Mirza, Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin, Thierry Warin

This study explores crisis communication strategies in the online social media environment based on an in-depth analysis of eight social media crises from 2007 to 2011. The emergence and rapid expansion of social media request organizations to revisit their crisis communication strategies. Due to the nature of social media, earlier strategies are not entirely applicable to manage crises that originate from or amplified by information circulation in the social media channels. In social media age, crisis communication strategies must be redefined to properly respond to social media crises and to prevent undesirable outcomes. Our results reveal that each organization employs different crisis communication strategies that result in various outcomes. It was found that companies respond to social media crisis through both social media and traditional media and their response messages include apology and compensation. Some companies respond to social media crisis in a timely manner whereas others respond with delay. This article extends our understanding on how organizations respond to crises in the online social media environment to prevent undesirable outcomes.

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