Is there Still a PR Problem Online? Exploring the Effects of Different Sources and Crisis Response Strategies in Online Crisis Communication Via Social Media
Corporate Reputation Review
This study examined the effects of source and crisis response strategy on crisis communication outcomes in the context of social media. A 3 (source: organization, CEO, or customer) × 2 (strategy: accommodative or defensive) × 2 (crisis type: airline crash or bank hacking) mixed experimental study was conducted with 391 participants. The organizational sources were more likely to be perceived as more credible than the non-organizational sources. In particular, the CEO appeared to be the most trustworthy and credible source in delivering crisis messages. The path analysis indicated that perceived source credibility mediated the effect of source on reputation and behavioral intentions. This mediation appeared to be contingent on the type of crisis response strategy.