External crisis communication - strategies an organization can take when struggling with crises and public image

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
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Degree programme
Organizational crises often result in damaged image of the company. In crisis situations organizations need to know how to communicate their viewpoint. This study is conducted as a literature review and it describes and analyses the theories of organizational crisis communication and image restoration after the crisis. The study examines and reviews the role and key components of external crisis communication within crisis management processes. After this, the study focuses on offering alternative strategies and tools an organization can take when restoring its damaged public image based on the theory. This study concludes the importance of planned communication efforts in organizational crisis situation. External crisis communication is needed in every phase of crisis management. Communication is used to realize and execute the crisis management plans in order to inform all notable members in every phase of crisis. Organizations can have a variety of strategies to choose to restore its damaged image. All the communication and image repair strategies depend on the nature and form of crisis and must be implemented according to the current situation. Due to constantly evolving technologies and organizational landscape, crisis communication practices are changing and organizations need to adapt to this change by exploiting new communication channels and strategies. Still, the general guidelines and strategies of crisis communication apply across crisis types, allowing organizations to predict, plan and structure their communication activities even before crisis. This literature review thus focuses on offering a general overview on theories and tools setting the ground for todays’ crisis communication activities.
Thesis advisor
Hänninen, Mikko
organizational crisis, crisis management, crisis communication, image restoration
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