Major Research Project – Crisis Communication Analysis

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In 2016 Samsung faced a devastating blow its corporate image, when malfunctions in the newly released Samsung Galaxy Note 7 lithium battery causing these devices to unexpectedly explode endangering the safety of its consumers and other innocent civilians. Maintaining a favorable image is crucial for organizations, and crises threaten this making the need for effective communication of vital importance. Samsung’s exploding devices was a traditional crisis, however what makes it an intriguing case for analysis is the influence of social media in exacerbating the crisis and causing debilitating harm organization’s reputation. Crisis communication
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Social media has transformed the crisis communication arena, an imperfect science, the use of social media as a crisis response strategy has proved to be effective means of reputation management for some institutions, and ineffective for others. As social media’s influence is found within Samsung’s crisis scholars Mina Roshan, Matthew Warren, and Rodney Carr in Understanding the use of social media by organizations for crisis will assist in providing the context of social media as unpredictable crisis management tool, and will help to assess social media response practiced by Samsung and the influence these communication channel had on exacerbating their crisis. Over the course of my research two questions I will seek to answer are: How has social media influenced how organizations respond in crisis situations? What does Samsung’s ineffective application of Benoit and Coomb’s crisis practices reveal of the nature of reputation management in today’s world? Ultimately, this research project will expand the breadth of crisis communication, and showcase the importance of communication messages in crisis situations in the digital world.

Benoit, W. L. (1997b). Hugh Grant 's image restoration discourse: An actor apologizes. Communication Quarterly, 45(3), 251-267. doi:10.1080/01463379709370064

Benoit, W. L. (1997a). Image repair discourse and crisis communication.
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