Dealing with “Prodromes” through Social Media: Pre-crisis Communication of Hyundai Regarding its Overestimated Gas Mileage Issue
Korea Information Society Development Institute
Asian Journal of Information and Communications
Compared to post-crisis communication, pre-crisis communication has received little attention in strategic communication research. As the population and use of social media platforms increase, so does the role they play in strategic pre-crisis communication. Based on a message framing approach, this study focused on examining how Hyundai Motor company (hereafter Hyundai) communicated with its publics through social media channels as a platform for their strategic pre-crisis communication response to the current technical issue, regarding its models’ overestimated Miles Per Gallon (MPG) flaw. A content analysis of 303 social media messages posted by both parties produced three significant findings: i) Hyundai expressed its pre-crisis communication through attribution of responsibility and economic framings, while human interest was the most frequently used message framing by its publics; ii) Hyundai did not post any negative message framings while its publics indicated their negative concern mostly with human interest; and iii) Hyundai posted positive messages using attribution of responsibility, while its publics expressed their positive concern with human interest and morality. The findings of this study implied that the corporation did not respond the needs of the publics while there were significant differences between the two parties in terms of interactive message framing.