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Corporate Responses to Critical Journalistic Interview Requests: An Experimental Study on Crisis Prevention

Thomas Koch, Nora Denner (), Benno Viererbl and Sascha Himmelreich
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Thomas Koch: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Nora Denner: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Benno Viererbl: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Sascha Himmelreich: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Corporate Reputation Review, 2019, vol. 22, issue 1, 1-9

Abstract: Abstract Journalists sometimes uncover deficiencies, abuses, and mistakes made by companies. As part of their professional duty, journalists usually give companies the opportunity to tell their side of the story; thus, a company has the chance to mitigate an oncoming crisis. The present study tests this idea using the example of a television report about the sugar content of baby food. We vary the company’s applied strategies (primary as well as secondary strategies) and the presentation form (written versus presented by a spokesperson in front of the camera). Our findings show that attacks against journalists are perceived rather negatively, while apologies and justifications are more convincing. Perceptions of the company are also improved when a statement is presented by a spokesperson rather than simply presented in writing.

Keywords: Corporate crisis; Crisis communication; Issues management; Situational crisis communication theory; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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