Comparing Strawberries and Quandongs: A Cross-National Analysis of Crisis Response Strategies

Audra R Diers, Kathryn Tomaino


The present study expands recent cross-sectional crisis response research identifying eight distinctive crisis response strategies (Diers, 2009) emerging from more than 40 individual tactics identified by predominantly case-study research in crisis communication (see, e.g., Benoit, 2004; Mohamed, Gardner, & Paolillo, 1999). This research tested previous findings industry and crisis type as critical factors affecting the selection of crisis response strategies by organizations in their public statements following a crisis. However, it also expands previous research by evaluating the effects of a corporation’s nation of origin, comparing social media versus traditional media as channels of engagement, and time in the crisis development as potential factors also affecting an organization’s crisis response.

Therefore, this study followed eleven organizations in five industries from five different nations facing three distinctive types of crises over a period of eight weeks analyzing messages in press releases, social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter), and traditional media (i.e., print and broadcast). Findings largely support previous research on the emergence of distinctive crisis response strategies and demonstrate the importance of considering industry, crisis type, nation, channel, and time as critical factors affecting the strategic response to crises.


Crisis response strategies, crisis communication, public relations

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