Corporate blog as a channel for crisis communication: Case Talvivaara

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Ask about the availability of the thesis by sending email to the Aalto University Learning Centre oppimiskeskus@aalto.fi
Date
2012
Major/Subject
International Business Communication
International Business Communication
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
128
Series
Abstract
The objective of this thesis was to study Talvivaara's corporate blog as a channel for crisis communication. The research conducted was two-fold: firstly the media coverage during the crisis was studied, after which Talvivaara's communications through their corporate blog were evaluated. By researching the case from two different aspects, the thesis aimed to uncover how the corporate blog functioned as a communication channel in this particular case study. The data of this study consisted of an interview with Talvivaara, news articles by Helsingin Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat and blog posts published in Talvivaara's corporate blog, Paikan päällä.fi. The interview data was approached through a qualitative analysis and the news articles were analyzed through a quantitative content analysis and qualitative frame analysis. Talvivaara's communication actions were studied by Coombs' (2007a) Situational Crisis Communication Theory and by analyzing the functions, content and dialogue in the corporate blog. The interview findings indicated that Talvivaara's crisis response was slow and the company lacked resources and knowledge in communicating in the crisis situation via mass media. In order to react to the crisis situation, the company decided to establish a corporate blog, where they could present the company's side of the story. The results of the content analysis demonstrated that Talvivaara's media coverage in Helsingin Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat was mainly critical and the frame analysis supported this view. The findings also support the company's opinion on the fact that Talvivaara's voice was not present broadly in the mass media. In addition, the findings suggest that the corporate blog responded to the discussion in the media and the company was able to engage in a dialogue with the blog's target group. Furthermore, the blog posts were quoted in the newspapers and after the establishment of the blog the media coverage was slightly less critical and more supportive. To conclude, the findings of this thesis supported the blog as a communication tool in this crisis situation.
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Keywords
international business communication, crisis communication, social media, blog, media, Talvivaara
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