The article by Friederike, Sonja and Anja on the role of media to solving a crisis seems to depict the evolution of the media as the main cause of deepening an already existing crisis. The author’s argument was that the media was more important as compared to the message. The article fails to accredit that it is neither the media nor the message, but the language used to convey the message that matters on how the audience receives and interprets the message. How people perceive a crisis mainly depends with how the crisis has been portrayed by through the social media such as through twitter. For instance, in case of a crisis in an organization, this crisis brings a lot of confusion and uncertainty amongst the employees and the management. The difference on how the crisis will be viewed or how the image of this organization will be viewed depends mainly on the language that people use on different platforms regarding this crisis.
The main idea here is how the crisis is reflected through different media is what matters. The language used can be convincing or persuasive that may calm down the people’s feelings. The language can also be intimidating thus tinting the image of the organization involved. If the people take to the social media or other forms of digital or print media, but use a language that is fuelling the crisis, regardless of the media, the crisis will be worse that it was initially.The relationship between communication situations and media is not as much as the author puts it rather it is the language that really matters.
It is true that the reputation of every organization is built through the media and how people view different organizations is dependent on the message passed either verbally or through other forms regarding the organization. The characteristic of the crisis and how positively the organization responds to the crisis determines how the reputation of the organization is. If they react to a crisis with a negative message then the reputation of that organization is no more.I agree with the author that the response to crisis by the organization through the social media has been understudied because no one has come out clearly to show the effect this has on the reputation of the organizations.
Many organizations today have gone digital and are interacting with their clientele online through blogs and other social media platforms. In case a crisis arises within or without the organization, it is first reported on social media. It is for the organization to decide which language to use to calm down the crisis. They can opt to be defensive of which they will receive more bangs from the clients and other bloggers. They do not have a choice of which media to use to respond to the crisis. The social media does not make the situation worse by any means; it is only because people can interact in real time and share views on the crisis. This is what sends cold shivers through many organizations and perceive the social media as the worst platform when it comes to dealing with the crisis. The author says that in case of a crisis, an apology and sympathy would work better to calm down the crisis and retain the reputation of the organization. What they are forgetting is that it requires more than the apology. The organization needs to use a more calming language and show regret that the situation occurred and at the same time take time to listen to the suggestions of the people. If the organization apologizes and fail to listen to the suggestions and work on them, the bashing of the media will not be there hence worsening the situation.
From the experiment, I can agree with the author that many people view information from the newspapers as more reliable than the one on blogs and twitter. The disagreement comes in when they try to argue that people who share information on social media platforms rely on the newspapers for their information. This is not true in most of the cases as people write their thoughts on blogs and issues that they come across in their day to day lives. I also tend to disagree with their findings that the newspapers are more efficient in settling the secondary crisis. Most of people today spend most of their time on social media platforms expressing their feelings and thoughts and it would be more effective if the apology or sympathy was communicated through these social media platforms.
The article was conclusive to show the importance of communication strategies when it comes to maintaining the reputation of any organization. The more effective way to maintain the reputation of an organization is to approach the crisis in a positive manner that will leave the readers of the message to perceive the crisis more positively. This will reduce the impacts of the secondary crisis and thus help retain the reputation of the organization.
Is the medium the message? Perceptions of and reactions to crisis communication via twitter, blogs and traditional media
Friederike Schultza, Sonja Utza, Anja Göritzb Online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0363811110001281