Responding to crisis assessing situational crisis communication of the costa concordia crisis

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A case study of the Costa Concordia Crisis January 2012

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Responding to crisis assessing situational crisis communication of the costa concordia crisis

  1. 1. Corporate  Communication   2st  semester  exam  2012     Master  of  Arts  in  Corporate   Communication   Student:  Tine  Grarup  286495   Supervisor:                                                         Steen  Michael  Hejndorf                   Responding  to  Crisis:  Assessing  Situational  Crisis   Communication  of  the  Costa  Concordia  Crisis   Total  number  of  characters:  32,992     A  case  study  of  the  Costa  Concordia  Crisis  January  2012  
  2. 2. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Table  of  Contents   1 INTRODUCTION  ...................................................................................................................................  1   1.1  Problem  statement  .........................................................................................................................................  2   1.1.1  Research  Questions  .............................................................................................................................  2     1.2  Methodology  .....................................................................................................................................................  2   1.3  Delimitations  .....................................................................................................................................................  3   2 THEORETICAL  BACKGROUND  .........................................................................................................  4   2.1  Crisis  and  Crisis  Management  Defined  ..................................................................................................  4   2.2  The  Value  of  Reputation  and  Stakeholder  Relationships  ..............................................................  5   2.3  Crisis  Response    ...............................................................................................................................................  6   2.3.1  The  Crisis  Situation:  Evaluating  Responsibility  and  Reputational  Threat  ..................  6     2.3.2  Crisis  Response  Strategies  ...............................................................................................................  8     3 CASE  STUDY  ........................................................................................................................................  11   3.1  Costa  Cruises  -­‐  Corporate  Profile  ..........................................................................................................  11   3.2  Stakeholders  of  Costa  Cruises  ................................................................................................................  11   3.3  The  Costa  Concordia  Crisis    .....................................................................................................................  12   3.3.1  The  Crisis  Situation:  Evaluating  Responsibility  and  Reputational  Threat  ...............  13     4 EMPRICAL  ANALYSIS  .......................................................................................................................  16   4.1  Costa  Cruises’  Crisis  Responses  .............................................................................................................  16   4.2  Connecting  and  Reflecting  upon  the  Findings  .................................................................................  21   4.3  Effect  on  Corporate  Reputation  .............................................................................................................  24   5 CONCLUSION    ......................................................................................................................................  28   6 LIST  OF  REFERENCES  .......................................................................................................................  29   6.1  Books  .................................................................................................................................................................  29   6.2  Articles  in  Journals  ......................................................................................................................................  30   6.3  Online  Articles  ...............................................................................................................................................  31   6.4  Other  Online  Sources  ..................................................................................................................................  33   6.5  Costacruises.com/co.uk  Sources  ...........................................................................................................  34   6.6  Online  Videos  .................................................................................................................................................  35   6.6  Other  Sources  ................................................................................................................................................  35   7 APPENDIXES   7.1  Appendix  1:  Crisis  Management  Factors  ...........................................................................................  36  
  3. 3. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication 7.2  Appendix  2:  Instructing  and  Adjusting  Information  in  Crisis  Response  .............................  38   7.3  Appendix  3:  Coombs’  Three  Crisis  Clusters  ......................................................................................  39   7.4  Appendix  4:  Image  Restoration  Strategies  by  Benoit  ..................................................................  41   7.5  Appendix  5:  Captain’s  Conversation  with  the  Italian  Coastguard  ..........................................  43   7.6  Appendix  6:  Costa  Concordia  Crisis  Update  .....................................................................................  44   7.7  Appendix  7:  Costa  Cruises  Crises  Responses  on  Twitter  ............................................................  53   7.8  Appendix  8:  Costa  Cruises  Crises  Responses  on  Facebook  .......................................................  56   7.9  Appendix  9:  Email  Correspondence,  Peter  Anker  Jensen,  owner  and  CEO  Fri  Ferie  .....  59   7.10  Appendix  10:  Three  CSR  Communication  Strategies  ................................................................  63     FIGURES   Figure  1:  The  crisis  situation  (own  adaption)  ............................................................................................  7   Figure  2:  Costa  Cruises  Vision  Statement  ..................................................................................................  11   Figure  3:  Costa  Cruises  stakeholder  map  (own  adaption)    ................................................................  12   Figure  4:  Outline  of  the  Costa  Concordia  Wreck  ....................................................................................  13   Figure  5:  Statement  of  human  error  from  Costa  Cruises  ....................................................................  14   Figure  6:  Statement  of  human  error  from  Pier  Luigi  Foschi,  CEO  of  Costa  Cruises    ...............  14   Figure  7:  Crisis  Response  Timeline  (own  adaption)    ...........................................................................  16   Figure  8:  Extract  from  first  statement  from  Costa  Cruises  ................................................................  17   Figure  9:  Tweet  from  Costa  Cruises’  Twitter  account  ..........................................................................  17   Figure  10:  Extract  from  second  statement  from  Costa  Cruises  .......................................................  17   Figure  11:  First  post  on  Costa  Cruises’  Facebook  page  .......................................................................  18   Figure  12:  Extract  from  statement:  Background  of  Costa’s  commitment  to  safety  ................  19   Figure  13:  Article  from  Lovell  Communications  ....................................................................................  20   Figure  14:  Article  from  news  media  CP  World  .......................................................................................  20   Figure  15:  Costa  Cruises’  rejection  of  discount  rumors  ......................................................................  20   Figure  16:  Costa  Cruises  statement  on  Facebook  acknowledging  stakeholder  requests  .....  21   Figure  17:  Great  offers  for  Costa  Cruises  on  Fri  Ferie’s  website  .....................................................  24   Figure  18:  Costa  bolstering  tweet  by  Costa  Cruises  reminding  of  positive  views  ...................  25   Figure  19:  Carnival  Cruises  at  NY  Stock  Exchange  the  days  after  the  crisis  ..............................  25   Figure  20:  Social  Mentions  about  Costa  Cruises  .....................................................................................  26   Figure  21:  Captain  Francesco  Schettino’s  conversation  with  the  Italian  coastguard  ............  43  
  4. 4. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication   TABLES   Table  1:  Crisis  response  strategies  by  the  SCCT  (own  adaption)  ......................................................  8   Table  2:  SCCT  Recommendations  for  Crisis  Response  Selection  (own  adaption)    ..............  9-­‐10   Table  3:  Reputational  threat,  Costa’s  responses  &  SCCT  Recommendations  summarized  .  22   Table  4:  Crisis  types  by  clusters  ....................................................................................................................  39   Table  5:  Image  Restoration  Strategies  ........................................................................................................  41      
  5. 5. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  1  of  65   1. Introduction Several elements and developments breed opportunities for crises, disrupting normal corporate operations. Crisis management has always been a difficult task bringing along multiple challenges and the demand for response. Moreover the emergence of social (global) media has complicated the entire process, requiring practitioners to act faster and more carefully than ever. The important of crisis management follows societal development, and as we live in a highly developed society where “omnipresent technology means that the chance of a crisis situation arising is greater than it has ever been”1 , corporations are faced with new responsibilities towards the more and more aware stakeholders. Even corporations who track their operations and reputation closely are often impacted by events outside of their control. “No organization is immune to a crisis”2 , and if badly managed, a crisis can ruin hard-won reputations or even destroy companies3 . Thus ongoing crisis and reputation management is of utter importance and can help ensure corporate sustainability. When crisis strike, effective crisis response can turn what could be a disaster into an opportunity or at least a chance move beyond the threat4 . In January 2012 Costa Cruises faced a crisis when its cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground and partially sank off the coast of Italy5 . At least 30 people died as a result of the incident6 , making it the largest passenger cruise ship accident since the Titanic7 . Facing a crisis further means facing reputational threats, hence Costa Cruises had to take action in the attempt to minimize potential damage to reputational assets and corporate endurance. So crisis response strategies had to be chosen and the goal of this report is to investigate these choices and evaluate the company’s responses in the perspective of situational crisis communication theory.                                                                                                                           1 Anthonissen (2007) p. 9 2 Coombs (2007). P 1 3 Tench & Yeomans (2009) p. 386 4 Ulmer (2007) p. 33 5 Sloan (2012) 6 Bergman (2012) 7 Sloan (2012
  6. 6. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  2  of  65   1.1 Problem Statement The goal of this paper is to analyze and discuss Costa Cruises’ post-crisis management of the recent Costa Concordia Crisis. The paper will examine Costa Cruises’ employment of crisis responses in relation the normative guidelines put forth in the Situational Crisis Communication Theory by Timothy Coombs. Further the response strategies will be discussed in relation to their impact on corporate reputation. 1.1.1 Research Questions RQ1: In the perspective of the Situational Crisis Communication Theory, and normative guidelines hereof, how did Costa Cruises respond to the recent Costa Concordia Crisis on international platforms? RQ2: How did the crisis responses affect corporate reputation of Costa Cruises? 1.2 Methodology The methodology operates as a basis of the paper, and scientifically it takes a socio-constructive approach viewing knowledge as grounded in social existence, thus as society change so do ideas, ideology and values8 . An approach that in this paper will cover the central argument of the corporate communication context, where expression is given through the product of individual and social interaction, thus changing together with societal occurrences9 . The method initiates in the problem statement, outlining the scientific problem. In the process of testing the research questions through a case study and empirical analysis of Costa Cruises10 , the concept of crisis management and relevant theory is accounted for11 . Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communication Theory research is chosen because of its relevance to the topic and the well developed theoretical framework it provides, as “the model has been tested and detailed in many other types of crises and types of response strategies”12 . The analysis is characterized by the method of a directed content analysis – an interpretative analytic approach based on existing theory13 . It is carried out on the basis of Costa Cruises’ crisis responses in relation to the theory put forth, and the data is collected through exploration of the company’s overall external communication.                                                                                                                           8 Berger & Luckmann (1966) 9 Hibberd (2005) p.26 10 Part 3 & 4 11 Part 2 12 Cooley & Cooley (2011) p. 205-206 13 Hsieh & Shannon (2005) p. 1277;1281
  7. 7. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  3  of  65   1.3 Delimitations In general an organization’s actions and behavior in a crisis situation go far beyond issuing press releases and making statements online, so to cover all aspects of responses it is recognized that one would have to include further perspectives. However, due to limitations, the analysis will purely be based on a selection of external publications visible to salient stakeholders14 . It is known that Costa Cruises further experienced fire on its Allegra cruise ship some months later, which in the long run also will have an effect on corporate reputation. Yet this paper only focuses on the Concordia crisis, and how the response hereto affected reputational assets. Moreover due to page restrictions the analysis does not touch upon the involvement of parent company Carnival Cruises. This part one has introduced the paper and the understanding of the structure and content. The following part will set a basis for the case study and analysis, presenting the theoretical background.                                                                                                                           14 Fombrun & van Riel “a reputation develops through the information stakeholders receive […]” (quoted in Coombs, Protecting (2007) p. 164)
  8. 8. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  4  of  65   2. Theoretical Background While the importance of crisis management and communications is widely agreed upon, the definition of a crisis is not. In order to set the stage of how the subject is approached in this paper, the theoretical background will be initiated with a definition of the concept. It will further elaborate on Coombs’ situational approach to crisis communication in the clarification of crisis response theory. This is relevant in order to conduct the analysis and hence evaluate Costa Cruises’ responses to the Concordia crisis. 2.1 Crisis and Crisis Management Defined Despite no agreed upon definition most scholars and corporations would most likely agree that “a crisis is the perception of an unpredictable event that threatens important expectations of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes”15 . This is the definition by Coombs in the attempt to capture the various perspectives and common traits of crisis definitions. The definition very well depicts the idea of a crisis being a fundamental disruption of corporate stability and status quo, which is the essence of most definitions16 , thus it will also be the one pursued by this paper. Coombs further stress the importance of stakeholder perceptions stating that “[i]f stakeholders believe an organization is in crisis […] stakeholders will react to the organization as if it is in crisis”17 , meaning that crisis management is greatly related to stakeholder relationships and the reputational outcome hereof, which is further discussed in section 2.2. Yet crises do not have to turn into a disaster “[a] crisis is unpredictable but not unexpected”18 . Corporations are able to limit the damage by engaging in crisis management, and the approach hereto is often what makes or break the crisis outcome19 . Effective crisis management can turn a crisis into an opportunity. Nevertheless, it is argued that simply pulling a corporation unharmed through a crisis may not be a sufficient criterion for success. Rather crisis management is a systematic effort designed to “avert crises or to effectively manage those that do occur”20 meaning that effective efforts are the ones where “operations are sustained or resumed, […] stakeholder losses are minimized, and learning occurs so that lessons are transferred                                                                                                                           15 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 2-3 16 Seeger et. al. (2005) p. 80 17 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 3 18 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 3 19 Anthonissen (2008) p. 1 20 Pearson & Clair (1998) p. 61
  9. 9. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  5  of  65   to future incidents”21 . Coombs divide crisis management into “four interrelated factors: (1) prevention, (2) preparation, (3) response, and (4) revision”22 , further presented in appendix 1. This paper will solely discuss the aspect of crisis response, as focus of analysis is put on post-crisis management, where crisis response is important to recover reputation and stakeholder relationships, also it is argued to be too early to make a revision of the Concordia crisis. 2.2 The Value of Reputation and Stakeholder Relationships “A reputation is an aggregate evaluation stakeholders make about an organization”23 meaning that positive stakeholder relationships can be an indicator of favorable reputation and vise versa. As Benoit argues a company must be concerned about reputation when expectations of salient stakeholders are disturbed24 . Reputation is widely recognized as a valuable, intangible asset, linked to corporate opportunities25 and further directly linked to credibility which in turn is broken, if a gap occurs between expectations and performance. Thus corporate focus is increasingly moving towards reputation management in the effort to ensure corporate sustainability, and based on the definition of crisis above, a “corresponding emphasis must be placed on crisis management as a means of protecting reputational assets”26 . In his research of the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) Coombs argue that a favorable, prior reputation will benefit a corporation during a crisis, and when protecting or restoring reputation in the post crisis communication27 . Hence a key element in crisis management is continuous positive interactions with stakeholders, and as stated by Coombs “first priority in any crisis is to protect stakeholders from harm, not to protect the reputation”28 . Thus efforts must be initiated by addressing the ethical responsibility of helping stakeholders to cope with both the physical (instructing information) and psychological (adjusting information) concerns, before focus is turned to reputation management29 . The notions of instructing and adjusting information are further described in appendix 2. In this context it is important to note that managing reputation and responding to a crisis involves knowledge and understanding of one’s stakeholders and their reactions30 . During a crisis the media will often be the loudest and most                                                                                                                           21 Pearson & Clair (1998) p. 60-61 22 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 5 23 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 24 24 Benoit in Millar & Heath (2004) p. 264 25 Coombs & Holladay (2006) p. 123 26 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 8 27 Further discussed in Section 2.3.1; Coombs & Holladay (2006) p. 123-124 28 Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 165 29 Sturges (1994) p. 308; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 165 30 Ulmer (2007) p. 36-37
  10. 10. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  6  of  65   demanding group of stakeholders, however, as the media contact often is more short term, the company must remember “all those to whom they must communicate”31 . Thus identification of salient stakeholders is crucial, as their reactions and interpretations will gain much power when information is shared, shaping the outcome of the crisis32 . As mentioned above a crisis exists when stakeholders perceive it to, this situational approach is clarified in the following section.   2.3 Crisis Response Post-crisis communication is a strong area of research and is mainly identified through crisis response strategies, being the responsive actions taken on by corporations in crisis to minimize negative outcomes33 . The SCCT is one of the most widely tested theories of crisis communication, developed and refined by Coombs34 . Taking the situational approach to crisis management it is an attempt to map out post-crisis communication and demonstrate how crisis response strategies can be used to protect reputational assets. The SCCT embraces three core elements; the crisis situation, crisis response strategies, and a system of matching the two based on the statement that “[a] strategic communicative response can best protect the reputational resource by assessing the crisis situation and selecting a crisis response strategy that fits the crisis situation”35 . These elements will be clarified in the following sections. 2.3.1 The Crisis Situation: Evaluating Responsibility and the Reputational Threat Rationally one cannot match crisis response strategies to the reputational threat of a crisis without a link between the two. Responsibility is what provides this conceptual link as “the evaluation of the reputational threat (the situation) is largely a function of crisis responsibility”36 . Responsibility requires accountability37 , and crisis response strategies retain these answers. In his research of the SCCT Coombs argue that three factors are used to evaluate and determine the reputational threat presented by a crisis: the initial crisis responsibility, the crisis history and the prior relational reputation38 , a situational framing that further serves to guide the choice of crisis response strategies.                                                                                                                           31 Seymour & Moore (2000) p. 116 32 Lewis (2011) p. 89; Seymour & Moore (2000) p. 77 33 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 138; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 170; Coombs: Attribution (2006) p. 135 34 Cooley & Cooley (2011) p. 205 35 Coombs & Holladay (2012) p. 167 36 Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 170 37 Weiner (1986) p. 22;70 38 Cooley & Cooley (2011) p. 205; Coombs, Protecting (2007) p. 166; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 141
  11. 11. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  7  of  65   Figure 1: The crisis situation (own adaption) 39 The initial crisis responsibility is defined by how much responsibility for the crisis, stakeholders attribute to the company, the more attributed responsibility the bigger the reputational threat40 . Here Coombs proclaims “[...] three crisis clusters based upon attributions of crisis responsibility […]”41 (1) the victim cluster with very little attributions of responsibility, (2) the accidental cluster with minimal attributions because of uncontrollability, and (3) the preventable cluster with strong attributions and severe reputational threat, as the event is considered intentional42 . Appendix 3 provides a more detailed elaboration of the crisis clusters and crisis types within. The crisis history is “whether or not an organization had had a similar crisis in the past”43 and the prior relational reputation is how well the organization is perceived to have treated stakeholders earlier44 . This is further related to both the Velcro effect stating that if you have a history, making the same mistakes number of times, you are also more vulnerable in the future45 , and the early adaption of stakeholder theory by Freeman, where a descriptive approach of existing relationships is associated with the outcomes of organizational actions46 .                                                                                                                           39 Coombs & Holiday (2012) p. 181 40 Coombs, Protecting (2007) p. 168 41 Coombs Protecting (2007) p. 168 42 Cooley & Cooley (2011) p. 205; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 167-168 43 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 142; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 167 44 Coombs, Protecting (2007) p. 167 45 Coombs & Holladay (2012) p. 59; 167 46 Lewis (2011) p. 86
  12. 12. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  8  of  65   2.3.2 Crisis Response Strategies When the attributions of responsibility have been identified, hence the reputational threat of a crisis, the organization can begin to consider potential crisis response strategies. “Trying to specify the exact number of crisis response strategies is a losing proposition”47 . A theorist such as William L. Benoit has earlier set the stage with his list of 14 “image restoration” strategies48 , which is clarified in appendix 4. To take a more productive approach Coombs has across theories identified the 10 most common strategies “built around the perceived acceptance of responsibility for a crisis embodied in the response”49 . His crisis response strategies are illustrated in table 1 below. Primary  crisis  response  strategies     Denial  crisis  response  strategies       Attack  the  accuser   Management  confronts  the  person  or  group  claiming  something  is  wrong.       Denial   Management  asserts  that  there  is  no  crisis.       Scapegoat   Management  blames  someone  outside  for  the  crisis.     Diminish  crisis  response  strategies       Excuse   Management  minimizes  organizational  responsibility  by  denying  intent  to  do   harm  and/or  claiming  inability  to  control  the  event.       Justification   Managements  attempts  to  minimize  the  perceived  damage  caused  by  the  crisis.     Rebuild  crisis  response  strategies       Compensation   Management  offers  money  or  other  gifts  to  victims.       Apology   Management  indicates  the  organization  takes  full  responsibility  for  the  crisis  and   asks  stakeholders  for  forgiveness.           Secondary  crisis  response  strategies     Bolstering  crisis  response  strategies       Reminder   Telling  stakeholders  of  the  past  good  work  of  the  organization.       Integration   Management  praises  stakeholders  and/or  reminds  them  of  past  good  work.       Victimage   Reminding  stakeholders  that  the  organization  is  a  victim  of  the  crisis  too.           Table 1: Crisis response strategies by the SCCT (own adaption) 50 Coombs divides the primary SCCT crisis response strategies into four groups; denial, diminish, rebuild, and bolstering. The deny responses involve, as the title says, a denial of any connection to the crisis, either by simply denying, claiming a fault, or blaming a third party51 . If accepted by stakeholders the organization is safe for any reputational damage. Diminish response options                                                                                                                           47 Benoit (1995) in Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 139 48 Benoit in Millar & Heath (2004) p. 266 49 Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 170 50 Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 170 51 Cooley & Cooley (2011) p. 204; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 171; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 139-140
  13. 13. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  9  of  65   include minimizing the perceived damage and responsibility linked to the crisis, through excuse or justification, here reputational harm occurs if stakeholders reject the frame set by the organization52 . Rebuild strategies are about generating new reputational assets through compensation or apologies, both being positive reputational actions, and lastly bolstering strategies function more as secondary and a supplement, comprising efforts of goodwill from close stakeholders, reminders of past good work, making the organization a victim etc.53 . The last core element of the SCCT is matching the response strategies with the crisis situation as discussed in the previous section. When determining the suitable response strategy for the crisis situation at hand it is, as mentioned, important to understand how stakeholders perceive the crisis and the crisis outcome. The SCCT embraces this and takes a stakeholder and audience-centered approach to crisis communication54 , arguing that the larger the reputational threat the more accommodative the response strategies should be55 . Table 2 below provides a summary of the normative guidelines and SCCT recommendations for the use of crisis response strategies. 1.     Provide  instructing  information  to  all  victims  or  potential  victims  in  the  form  of  warnings   and  directions  for  protecting  themselves  from  harm.   2.   Provide  adjusting  information  to  victims  by  expressing  concern  for  them  and  providing   corrective  actions  when  possible.       Note:  Providing  instructing  and  adjusting  information  alone  can  be  enough  when  crises   have  minimal  attributions  of  crisis  responsibility  (victim  crises),  no  history  of  similar   crises  and  a  neutral  or  positive  prior  relational  reputation.   3.   Diminish  strategies  should  be  used  for  crises  with  minimal  attributions  of  crisis   responsibility  (victim  crises)  couples  with  a  history  of  similar  crises  and/or  negative  prior   relational  reputation.   4.     Diminish  strategies  should  be  used  for  crises  with  low  attributions  of  crisis  responsibility   (accident  crises),  which  have  no  history  of  similar  crises,  and  a  neutral  or  positive  prior   relational  reputation.   5.     Rebuild  strategies  should  be  used  for  crises  with  low  attribution  of  crisis  responsibility   (accident  crises),  couples  with  a  history  of  similar  crises  and/or  unfavorable  prior  relational   reputation.   6.     Rebuild  strategies  should  be  used  for  crises  with  strong  attributions  of  crisis  responsibility   (preventable  crises)  regardless  of  crisis  history  or  prior  relational  reputation.   7.     Denial  strategies  should  be  used  in  rumor  crises.   8.     Denial  strategies  should  be  used  in  challenge  crisis  when  the  challenge  is  unwarranted.                                                                                                                               52 Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 171; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 139-140 53 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 139-141; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 172 54 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 143 55 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 143
  14. 14. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  10  of  65   9.     Use  corrective  action  (adjusting  information)  in  challenges  when  other  stakeholders  are   likely  to  support  the  challenge.   10.     Bolstering  strategies  should  be  used  as  supplements  to  the  other  response  strategies.   11.     Victimage  response  strategy  should  only  be  used  with  the  victim  cluster.   12.     To  be  consistent,  do  not  mix  denial  strategies  with  either  diminish  or  rebuild  strategies.   13.     Diminish  and  rebuild  strategies  can  be  used  in  combination  with  one  another.   Table 2: SCCT Recommendations for Crisis Response Selection (own adaption) 56 The above part has set a valuable basis for the forthcoming case study and empirical analysis of Costa Cruises. The SCCT will be used in the case study accounting for the crisis situation regarding the Concordia crisis, and in the empirical analysis evaluating Costa’s use of crisis response strategies.                                                                                                                           56 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 143; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 173
  15. 15. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  11  of  65   3. Case Study This following section is set to paint the picture of Costa Cruises, involving company profile, stakeholders and elaboration of the Costa Concordia crisis, including crisis situation and type according to the SCCT, setting the basis for the analysis of crisis responses. 3.1 Costa Cruises – Company Profile “The story behind Costa Cruises is at first glance a story of entrepreneurial success”57 , starting out as a small trader of fabrics and olive oil Costa now has more than sixty years of tradition in cruise holidays58 . Costa Cruises is the number one cruise company in Europe, and hold 7.2% of world wide passengers59 . In 2000 the company was acquired by Carnival Corporation, and is now one of eleven more or less independent brands operated by Carnival, accounting for approximately 16% of the revenue60 . Today 65,000 Travel Agencies work with Costa Cruises all over the world and research from 2010 shows that 98% of all passengers were satisfied clients61 . Costa clarifies its vision by the following statement: Figure 2: Costa Cruises Vision Statement62 With a mission of having the guests being the best partners for future growth, Costa puts customer service in focus, which also comes to show in the Costa Touch statement "We all make our Guests' dreams come true"63 . 3.2 Stakeholders of Costa Cruises The stakeholders of Costa Cruises are many and the most predominant ones are depicted in figure 3. In this paper focus will be on the external stakeholders, as they merely are the ones targeted in the crisis responses of analysis and discussion in the following. As mentioned in section 2.2 it is important to be aware of salient stakeholders in a crisis situation. In terms of external crisis communication Costa Cruises’ most salient stakeholders are argued to be consumers and the media.                                                                                                                           57 The Company history 58 About Costa 59 Market Share 60 Market Share 61 Company Profile 62 Our values 63 Our values
  16. 16. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  12  of  65   During a crisis consumer reactions are often highly emotional and uncertainty is dominating, thus this is also what media focus will be on. Even though consumers might distrust both the company and the media during a crisis64 , their perceptions are easily influenced. Being an international company as Costa Cruises, stakeholders will also differ across markets, and it is thus of utter importance to align decision making and all communication, in order to keep responses consistent and trustworthy65 . Figure 3: Costa Cruises stakeholder map (own adaption) 3.3 The Costa Concordia Crisis On January 13, 2012 Costa Cruises gained international attention, when one of its cruise ships, the Costa Concordia, ran aground and partially sank overnight off the coast of Italy66 . At least 30 people died as a result of the incident, and two are still missing67 , making it the largest passenger cruise ship accident in 100 years, since the Titanic68 .                                                                                                                           64 Seymour & Moore (2000) p. 79 65 Seymour & Moore (2000) p. 25 66 Sloan (2012) 67 Bergman (2012) 68 Sloan (2012
  17. 17. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  13  of  65   The accident occurred due to a deviation from the approved route, as depicted in figure 4. Sailing that close to the shore on shallow water caused the ship to hit rocks and tore a large cut in the hull69 . Costa Cruises and prosecutors are blaming the accident on the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, who they say took the vessel off course70 . The Captain, on the other hand, blames the collision on the charts claiming that they did not show the rocks71 . The period after the wreck many news stories and opinions circulated in the media about the tragedy, and still do. Along with the above accusations, failing to report the accident to the coast guard in time, and abandoning the ship before all passengers had been rescued72 , directed much focus towards the captain, who was arrested the day after the tragedy, “accused of manslaughter and abandoning his ship before all those on board were evacuated”73 . Schettino is now under house arrest while the incident is being investigated74 . The grounding of Costa Concordia was an event that shocked the world. The following section will attempt to determine the crisis situation and reputational threat and thus the crisis type according to the SCCT. 3.3.1 The Crisis Situation: Evaluating Responsibility and Reputational Threat As mentioned in section 2.3.1 Coombs argue that three factors are used to evaluate and determine the reputational threat (crisis situation) presented by a crisis and further guide the choice of crisis response; the initial crisis responsibility, the crisis history and the prior relational reputation75 .                                                                                                                           69 Pisa (2012) 70 Sloan (2012); Sky News (2012) 71 BBC News (2012) 72 Appendix 5 73 Bozicevic (2012) 74 Pisa (2012) 75 Coombs, Protecting (2007) p. 166; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 141; Cooley & Cooley (2011) p. 205 Figure 4: Outline of the Costa Concordia Wreck (Agar, 2012)
  18. 18. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  14  of  65   As noted earlier, the media will have a great power in letting other stakeholders know about the crisis and influencing attitudes hereto, hence, “how the media frame the crisis is an important consideration”76 . The Costa Concordia crisis created much disturbance in stakeholder expectations and could most likely have been prevented if other actions had been made, meaning that the responsibility attributed by stakeholders is high, and the crisis is thus, according to theory, situated in the preventable cluster pursuing strong attributions of responsibility and a severe reputational threat77 . The crisis type is argued to be a human-error accident78 , as human error most likely caused the accident. Few days after the wreck both a corporate press release and a statement from CEO Pier Luigi Foschi reported human error, as seen in figure 5 and 6 below. Figure 5: Statement of human error from Costa Cruises79 Figure 6: Statement of human error from Pier Luigi Foschi, CEO of Costa Cruises 80 One could also argue for the crisis type to be organizational misdeed with injuries, as stakeholders were placed at risk and injuries occurred. However according to this crisis type the risk should be placed by management, which is quite debatable in this situation. In both cases the company is facing severe reputational threat, leading to a certain type of crisis response according to the SCCT. In the days after the crisis some dialogues referred to the past safety history of the company81 , and not being the first reported accident with injuries, called Costa’s safety records into question. To name a few, the very same Costa Concordia hit the dockside in Sicily in 2008, causing damage to                                                                                                                           76 Coombs, Protecting (2007) p. 173 77 Section 2.3.1; Appendix 3; Section 2.2 78 Appendix 3 79 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 80 Foschi: Press (2012) [2:29-2:38] 81 Foxnews.com (2012)
  19. 19. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  15  of  65   the port82 , and more seriously, in 2010 Costa Europa crashed during docking killing three crew members and injuring four passengers83 . Incidents like these and Costs’ handling hereof will have great influence on the attribution of responsibility in the recent Concordia crisis. Nevertheless Costa’s positioning as the number one cruise company in Europe84 with 98% satisfied passengers85 , provides the company with a positive prior relational reputation, and will of course benefit the company during the crisis and in the attempt to restore reputational assets86 .                                                                                                                           82 Paloti (2009); Derbyshire (2012) 83 SilverStein (2010); Bryant (2010) 84 Section 3.1 85 Section 3.1 86 Coombs & Holladay (2006) p. 123-124; Section 2.2
  20. 20. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  16  of  65   4. Empirical Analysis Based on the crisis situation accounted for above the Concordia crisis is placed in the preventable cluster with an existing crisis history and favorable prior reputations. Thus the situation suggests strong attributions of crisis responsibility and possesses a severe reputational threat87 . In such instances the SCCT recommends the accommodative response strategy of rebuild, as compensation or full apology would work to improve corporate reputation88 . The following section will examine and discuss the crisis responses used by Costa to see if they are in agreement with the SCCT recommendations and attempt to determine the overall success of the post-crisis management. 4.1 Costa Cruise’s Crisis Responses After the Costa Concordia wreck on January 13th Costa has engaged in different responses in order to keep stakeholders informed and hopefully retain reputational assets. Figure 7: Crisis Response Timeline (own adaption)89                                                                                                                           87 Section 2.3.1; Section 3.3.1; Appendix 3 88 Section 2.3.2 89 Appendix 6, 7 & 8; Costa Concordia – Update; Costa Cruises on Twitter; Costa Cruises on Facebook
  21. 21. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  17  of  65   From a corporate perspective several statements were made public on the corporate websites, and some also published as press releases90 . From a more consumer perspective Costa also used the power of social media, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, to communicate updates and company statements. These responses are illustrated and discussed in appendix 6, 7 and 8. The above figure 7 illustrates the timeline of the different crisis responses. Figure 8: Extract from first statement from Costa Cruises91 Figure 9: Tweet from Costa Cruises’ Twitter account92 The first response was a confirmation of the evacuation of Concordia, published around 4 hours after the wreck as a corporate statement on the website and on twitter as seen in the above two figures93 . Shortly after expressions of condolences and concern was stated on the website and on Facebook as seen in the below figure 10 and 1194 . With consumers as salient stakeholders, it is argued to be valuable to include social media in the first responses. Figure 10: Extract from second statement from Costa Cruises95                                                                                                                           90 Press 91 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 92 Costa Concordia on Twitter; Appendix 7 93 Appendix 6 & 7; Costa Cruises on Twitter; Costa Concordia - Update 94 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 & 8; Costa Cruises on Facebook 95 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6
  22. 22. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  18  of  65   Figure 11: First post on Costa Cruises’ Facebook page96 Until this point no real response strategy had been used. Costa only did what Coombs call instructing and adjusting information to help stakeholders cope with concerns97 , as the communication was solely informative and at the same time somewhat indefinite, as not much was known yet. In fact Costa waited more than 14 hours before providing a contact number for assistance to friends and families98 . In a time where the media is very much global and news travel across the world in no time, it is of utter importance to initiate immediate communication with stakeholders involved99 . So despite the little knowledge, Costa’s timing was unacceptable and indicates little or no crisis preparation100 . During this first period Costa received several comments and condolences especially on Twitter as seen in appendix 7, to which Costa also responded contributing to the key element of stakeholder interaction101 . In these first communications Costa supported the captain in stating that “[…] still preliminary the ship Costa Concordia under the command of the Master Francesco Schettino was regularly sailing […]”102 . However only the day after, assessments changed and indications were now “that there may have been significant human error on the part of the ship’s Master […]”103 . Alongside reassuring that “[a]s all Costa Masters, he has been constantly trained passing all tests”104 , this statement is argued to be an attempt to minimize corporate responsibility via                                                                                                                           96 Costa Concordia on Twitter; Appendix 8 (facebook) 97 Section 2.2; Sturges (1994) p. 308; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 165 98 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 99 Section 2.2 100 Section 2.1; Appendix 1 101 Section 2.2 102 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 103 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 104 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6
  23. 23. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  19  of  65   justification, using the diminish response strategy105 . Further this could even be argued to be an attempt to shift blame and make the captain the scapegoat, hence touching upon denial strategy106 . In the end of this same statement background information of Costa’s commitment to safety was further included, as seen below. This was a reminder of the company’s high obligation to and standards of safety and personnel training, thus a use of the bolstering posture to retain reputation107 . Figure 12: Extract from statement: Background of Costa’s commitment to safety108 The following days’ responses were merely online and through the media coverage of Costa’s press conference on January 16 with Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi, sharing company condolences and addressing key issues regarding the incident. In this press conference similar response strategies as above were used109 . Watching the video, it is clear that English is not the CEO’s first language110 , which affects the impression of concern and engagement required in such a situation, nevertheless it was an in-person public statement, which until this had not been part of the responses. But it might have come too late for the company to retain control, because at this time the world media had already created their own perceptions and rumors were already fluctuating. The CEO was aware of this and tried to justify his absence with the reason of being abroad “and therefore did not have a direct and immediate knowledge of the facts occurred”111 . One could argue that someone else should then have been appointed the role of spokesperson, to make sure that stakeholders got this in-person information earlier and also to have a spokesperson with more media training and international plea112 . However, this is another discussion which will not be taken in this paper.                                                                                                                           105 Section 2.3.2; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 171; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 139-140 106 Section 2.3.2; Appendix 4 107 Section 2.3.2; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 172; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 139-141 108 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 109 Foschi: Press (2012) 110 Foschi: Press (2012) 111 Foschi: Senate (2012) [3:19-3:28] 112 Coombs (2007) p. 128;168-169
  24. 24. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  20  of  65   One rumor fluctuating in the media was that Concordia victims were offered 30 percent discount on their next cruise, being highly criticized as a tasteless compensation to victims still recovering, as seen in the below articles. Figure 13: Article from Lovell Communications; PR, crisis comm. and marketing comm. agency113 Figure 14: Article from news media CP World114 Figure 15: Costa Cruises’ rejection of discount rumors 115 Also seen above these accusations were rejected by Costa in statements shortly after. Not until January 27th the company itself addressed the issue of compensation and announced a compensation package for Concordia victims and future cruise guests. Being a part of the rebuilding strategy, compensation was an appropriate strategy to choose116 , however at this point stakeholders had already had the time to develop another opinion of the company’s response, mainly based on                                                                                                                           113 Coleman (2012) 114 Funaro (2012) 115 Costa Concordia - Update; Appendix 6 116 Section 2.3.2
  25. 25. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  21  of  65   groundless assertions in the media, thus the reputational rebuild should have been announced immediately after the claims, to have the full effect. After the worst media storm had abated, Costa’s communication also became less frequent and merely focused on information about the removal of Costa Concordia, and promise of corrective actions. Also in the social media channels things were slowly returning back to normal, as the Facebook post by Costa below illustrate. This also shows how Costa listens to and involves stakeholders, which is further elaborated on in Appendix 8. This integration of stakeholders is also a part of the bolstering strategy117 . Figure 16: Costa Cruises statement on Facebook acknowledging stakeholder requests118 .   4.2 Connecting and Reflecting upon the Findings Due to strong attributions of crisis responsibility, Costa should, as earlier established119 , use rebuild response strategies “generating new reputational assets through compensation or apologies”120 . Despite the theoretical suggestion, Costa’s first reaction to the crisis was not to apologize, but rather to minimize responsibility by use of the diminish posture of justification and excuse. In fact the company never provided a full apology. Even though compensation was given, initiating a rebuild response, the company’s main strategy was to make the captain the scapegoat, thus Costa displayed itself as a victim of the captain’s mistakes and denied responsibility. Costa further tried to bolster the corporate image by reminding stakeholders of its high obligation to safety, and integrating stakeholders via social media. In the first statements from Costa one can tick off some of the key elements in crisis communication; concern for stakeholders and actions addressing the situation, but the overt attempt                                                                                                                           117 Section 2.3.2 118 Costa Cruises on Facebook; Appendix 8 119 Section 2.3.2; 3.3.1 120 Section 2.3.2
  26. 26. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  22  of  65   to blame the captain could be a very risky strategy, as “it creates the impression of a business willing to jump to conclusions before all the facts are known, rather than keeping a cool head”121 . Theory further argues that at this early stage Costa’s focus should be on the human impact and not protecting commercial interests122 . Shifting the blame and thus touching upon denial strategy123 might not be appropriate in a situation where the crisis possibly could have been prevented by the company124 , as the CEO also stated himself “this is a tragic accident which shouldn’t have occurred and could have been avoided”125 . So, even if the accusation of the captain holds true, corporate changes will have to be made in order to fully retain reputation, as these changes will further impact stakeholders due to the ripple effect126 . As stated by Ian Mitroff, crisis management expert, “it’s easy to put the finger on just one bad apple but you still have to ask, ‘what about the whole system?’”127 . Further Costa could stand in front of severe reputational damage if investigations later conclude that the captain was not to blame128 .     Reputational  threat  of   crisis  situation   Costa  Cruises'  responses   SCCT  recommendations   Costa  Concordia   wreck  January  '12   Strong  attributions  of  crisis   responsibility  =  severe   reputational  threat   Diminish  crisis  response  strategy:   Rebuild  crisis  response  strategy:     Justification     Compensation     Excuse     Apology   Denial  crisis  response  strategy:   Bolstering  crisis  response  strategy:     Scapegoat     Reminder   Bolstering  crisis  response  strategy:     Integration     Reminder         Integration       Rebuild  crisis  response  strategy:           Compensation           Table 3: Reputational threat, Costa Cruises’ responses & SCCT Recommendations summarized129 . Reviewing the summarization in table 3, Costa made use of various response strategies in its crisis communication. The use of the rebuild strategy of compensation and the secondary bolstering                                                                                                                           121 Hemus (2012) 122 Section 2.2; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 165 123 Section 2.3.2; Appendix 4 124 Section 3.3.1 125 Foschi: Senate (2012) [3:07-3:14] 126 Lewis (2011) p. 8-9 127 Booton (2012) 128 Section 2.2 129 Summarized from above sections
  27. 27. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  23  of  65   strategies reminder and ingratiation are coherent with the SCCT recommendations130 . However neither the deny nor the diminish strategy match these recommendations, thus Costa’s overall crisis response did not follow prescriptions. While the crisis situation classified the crisis as a severe reputational threat, Costa mainly responded with strategies suitable for victim crises and accident crises131 . Also mixing the denial with diminish and rebuild strategies will, according to the SCCT, create critical inconsistency132 , and thus erode the effectiveness of the overall response133 . Particularly also in Costa’s case, being an international company with stakeholders across many markets, it is of utter importance to align responses134 . Nevertheless one could argue that the complexity of crises, not being static, changing with society occurrences135 , might create a need for corporate preparedness to change response if necessary during the crisis period to protect reputation136 . Thus the SCCT’s incorporation of guidelines recommending consistency in crisis response could be understood in different ways, and Costa might not have been as inconsistent as first stated. Also the lack of apology could be discussed, as one could argue that Costa gave a partial apology through the use of regret and concern, possibly with the reasoning that it would not hold the same liabilities. Even though full apology would have had a greater effect on the reputational rebuild, accepting responsibility could also put Costa in a worse off position in potential lawsuits related to the crisis137 , and it might in the long run benefit Costa and its corporate image not to use full apology. Further, by not explicitly apologizing, Costa was able to focus discussion on corrective actions, which is further included in the normative guidelines of instructing and adjusting information138 , and would address the priority of protecting stakeholders from harm139 . At the same time this is aligned with consumer focus in Costa’s vision and mission140 , but it does not change the fact that Costa has damaged reputational credibility when creating a gap between the mission/vision                                                                                                                           130 Section 2.3.2 131 Section 2.3.1; Appendix 3 132 Section 2.3.2; Figure x 133 Section 2.3.2; Coombs: Protecting (2007) 173 134 Section 3.2 135 Section 1 & 1.2 136 Heath & Coombs (2006) p. 206; Coombs: Protecting (2007) p. 173 137 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 141 138 Section 2.3.2; Heath & Coombs (2006) p. 206; Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 143 139 Section 2.2 140 Section 3.1; Our values
  28. 28. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  24  of  65   expectations and actual performance141 . This leads on to the following section determining the reputational effect of Costa’s responses. 4.3 Effect on Corporate Reputation According to theory, Costa Cruises should have suffered severe reputational damage. Several media have too proclaimed that Costa might not survive, and that travelers would abandon the idea of cruising142 . However, none of this has yet occurred, as agents are largely reporting that cruise sales are business as usual143 . As stated by Peter Anker Jensen, CEO of the Danish travel agency Fri Ferie, “I have heard comments like ‘now it must surely be the world's safest cruise line’ - and people forget quickly”144 . Peter further stated that despite the tragedy, prices is still what matters most, “we did not sell many cruise holidays before the accident. It's scary but true, Costa sat down prices - and then we sold very well!”145 . As depicted below, Fri Ferie is now promoting great cruise offers on their website. Thus indications show that the old notion of ‘bad press is better than no press’ might be true in the long run. Figure 17: Great offers for Costa Cruises on Fri Ferie’s website146 The above is further supported by statements from consumers. One even wrote an article on how the media buzz had opened his eyes for cruise holidays, and not just any cruise – a Costa cruise,                                                                                                                           141 Section 2.2 142 Walker (2012); MacMillan (2012) 143 Turen (2012); Appendix 9 144 Appendix 9 145 Appendix 9 146 Fri Ferie Cruise
  29. 29. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  25  of  65   stating that he “guessed that there's probably no safer time to travel on Costa than right now”147 . This article was also highlighted by Costa in the tweet below. Figure 18: Costa bolstering tweet by Costa Cruises reminding of positive views148 . Also the stocks of parent company Carnival Cruises149 did not suffer as much as one might have feared. Naturally they initially did go down, as illustrated in the figure below the stocks made a steep drop on the opening bell on January 17150 . This was only anticipated in the situation of crisis, however, it is notable that already on the first day of trading the stock was starting to balance out, and at the end of the third day of trading the stock was slowly ascending again. Figure 19: Carnival Cruises at NY Stock Exchange the days after the crisis151 Using a monitoring tool to check the social mentions of Costa Cruises, one can assess the sentiment of the company, being “the ratio of positive conversations happening online verses the amount of negative”152 . From the time around the crisis and till now, the sentiment has, as seen in the figure 20 below, gone from having one negative conversation for every one positive, to now having only one for every eleven positive conversation. Further the strength shows that the media buzz around company have abated, and the likelihood of Costa being discussed in social media has gone from 25                                                                                                                           147 Serminara (2012) 148 Costa Cruises on Twitter 149 Which as well indicate the situation of Costa Cruises 150 Which was the first day of trading after the wreck, as Monday was a holiday (NYSE trading hours) 151 NYSE Carnival Corporation 152 Hayes (2012); SocialMention FAQ
  30. 30. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  26  of  65   to 3 percent. This support the statement above that people might quickly forget, and indicate that Costa might not suffer as much from the crisis as first assumed. Figure 20: Social Mentions about Costa Cruises153 So, even though Costa acted somewhat contrary to what the SCCT recommends in similar crises, and was criticized in the media, consumer interaction and investor affairs imply that the cruise operator will make it through the crisis. Naturally, there are limitations on the ability to explain the exact influences of the crisis on Costa’s reputation, and the included data might say more about the image than the long term reputation. However, the Costa image appears to be in the process of repair as the attitude among salient stakeholders seems to be turning. Further Costa is launching new initiatives and a new flagship liner, hoping to rebuild reputation154 . This puts forth Benoit’s view on crisis management in taking restorative actions to cope with the image threat155 . Though it is argued to be image repair and not restoration, as the image not necessarily is restored back to its former stage, but rather repaired to a new stage for future endurance. Whether or not these actions will result in the full repair of consumer confidence is yet to be seen, as the holiday season unfold, and thus beyond the scope of this paper. Concluding one could argue for crisis preparation to be of utter importance, by being better prepared for a crisis situation, Costa would have been able to respond much faster and more specific156 . When being the center of tragedy, one must be ahead of the PR battle on every front. A great part of PR is reputation management, which includes continuous monitoring (social) media                                                                                                                           153 Hayes (2012); SocialMention – Costa Cruises 154 Sinha (2012) 155 Appendix 4 156 Section 2.1; Appendix 1
  31. 31. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  27  of  65   activity for any possible dissatisfied consumer157 , as it will change along individual and social interactions158 . In time this monitoring could prevent an episode as the Concordia wreck from developing into an image damaging incident. As stated earlier effective crisis management is “where operations are sustained or resumed, […] stakeholder losses are minimized, and learning occurs so that lessons are transferred to future incidents”159 , making the revision factor of crisis management important as well, learning from the crisis and using this for both the prevention of and preparation for future crises160 .                                                                                                                           157 Baldelomar (2012) 158 Section 1.2 159 Section 2.1; Pearson & Clair (1998) p. 60-61 160 Appendix 1
  32. 32. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  28  of  65   5. Conclusion The paper has been built on an interest in post-crisis management theory, and its relation to the reality of crisis management by corporations such as Costa Cruises. Based on an understanding of the concept, a situational perspective was taken through the clarification of Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT). With the aim of testing the normative crisis response guidelines hereof, a case analysis of Costa’s crisis responses has been carried out. Through the analysis it was found that Costa did not follow theoretical recommendations, as the company used a combination of strategies from all the different crisis response postures in no specific or thought through order. However despite Costa’s mismatch responses, certain measures indicate that Costa might not suffer as much damage to its corporate reputation as first assumed. Mixing different strategies and taking the position as a victim of the captain’s mistakes, Costa places itself in the same situation as most stakeholders, creating sympathy and minimizing responsibility. In its own form Costa engaged in situational crisis responses when choosing its responses according to the context and media coverage at hand, and the threat that followed. Whether or not this was intentional and a planned strategy or merely just a lucky strike for a company that was not at all prepared for a crisis, one can only guess. Nevertheless, it can be argued that theoretical recommendations might not be essential in all types of crisis situations. Again had the SCCT prescriptions been followed, Costa would most likely not have been target for the many critiques and negative discussions, and would thus be in a better reputational position going through the crisis. In conclusion, the paper has provided a basis for the discussion of whether or not theoretical guidelines always should be followed and questions remain of how the reputational situation of Costa would have been, had the company followed the SCCT prescriptions.
  33. 33. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  29  of  65   6. List of References 6.1 Books § Anthonissen, Peter F. Crisis Communication – practical PR strategies for reputation management and company survival. Kogan Page: London, 2008. § Barton, Laurence. Crisis in Orgnaizations II. South-Western: Ohio, 2001.   § Benoit, William L. Accounts, Excuses, and Apologies: A Theory of Image Restoration Strategies. State University of New York Press, 1995.   § Benoit, William L. 2004. Image restoration discourse and crisis communication. In Responding to crisis: a rhetorical approach to crisis communication, edited by Millar, D. P. and Heath, R. L.. Mahwah, NJ, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.   § Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality. New York: Doubleday & Co, 1966.   § Coombs, W. Timothy. Ongoing crisis communication: Planning, managing, and responding. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, 2007. § Coombs, W. Timothy & Sherry J. Holladay. The Handbook of Crisis Communication. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, 2012. § Grunig, James E., and Todd T. Hunt. Managing Public Relations. New York: CBS College Publishing, 1984. § Heath, Robert L. Handbook of Public Relations. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, 2001. § Heath, Robert L. & Timothy W. Coombs. Today’s Public Relations: An Introduction. Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA, 2006.   § Hibberd, Fiona J. Unfolding Sosial constructionism. Springer, 2005. § Lewis, Laurie K. Organizational Change: Creating Change Through Strategic Communication. Wiley-Blackwell: West Sussex, 2011 § Morsing, Mette, and Suzanne C. Beckmann. Strategic CSR Communication. Copenhagen: DJØF Publishing, 2006.
  34. 34. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  30  of  65   § Seymour, Mike & Simon Moore. Effective Crisis Management: Worldwide Principles and Practice. Cassell: London & New York, 2000. § Tench, Ralph & Liz Yeomans. Exploring Public Relations. Pearson Educated: Harlow, 2009. § Ulmer, Robert R. Effective Crisis Communication: Moving From Crisis to Opportunity. Sage Publications: California, 2007. § Weiner, Bernard. An Attributional Theory of Motivation and Emotion. Springer-Verlag: New York, 1986 6.2 Articles in Journals § Allen, M. W., & Caillout, R. H. “Legitimation endeavors: Impression management strategies used by an organization in crisis”. Communication Monographs 61 (1994): 44-62. § Cooley, Skye Chance & Asya Besova Cooley. “An examination of the situational crisis communication theory through the general motors bankruptcy”. Journal of Media and Communication Studies 3.6 (2011): 203-211. § Coombs, W. Timothy. “Attribution Theory as a guide for post-crisis communication research”. Public Relations Review 33 (2007): 135-139. § Coombs, W. Timothy. “Protecting Organization Reputations During a Crisis: The Development and Application of Situational Crisis Communication Theory”. Corporate Reputations Review 10.3 (2007): 163-176. § Coombs, W. Timothy & Sherry J. Holladay. "Unpacking the halo effect: reputation and crisis management". Journal of Communication Management 10.2 (2006): 123 – 137. § Hsieh, Hsiu-Fang, and Sarah E. Shannon. “Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis.” Qualitative Health Research. 15.9 (2005): 1277-1288. § Morsing, Mette and Majken Schultz. “Corporate social responsibility communication: stakeholder information, response and involvement strategies.” Business Ethics: A European Review. 15.4 (2006): 323-338 § Seeger, Matthew W., Robert R. Ulmer, Julie M. Novak & Timothy Sellnow. “Post-crisis discourse and organizational change, failure and renewal” Journal of Organizational Change Management. 18.1 (2005): 78-95.
  35. 35. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  31  of  65   § Sturges, David L. 1994. “Communicating through crisis: A Strategy for Organizational Survival”. Management Communication Quarterly 7.3 (1994): 297-316. § Pearson, Christine M. and Judith A. Clair. “Reframing Crisis Management” Academy of management review 23.1 (1998): 39-78 6.3 Online Articles § Agar, Michael. “Concordia: How the disaster unfold”. The Telegraph. 16 Jan. 2012. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/interactive-graphics/9018076/Concordia-How-the- disaster-unfolded.html> § Baldelomar, Raquel. “Costa Concordia and Brand Reputation Management”. 24 Jan. 2012. Quaintise. 15 May 2012. <http://blog.quaintise.com/costa-concordia-and-brand-reputation- management/>   § BBC News. “Costa Concordia cruise ship captain ‘went off course’”. BBC News. 16 Jan. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16576979> § Bergman, Jamey. ”Concordia Update: Five Bodies Removed from Wreckage Identified”. Cruise Critic. 17 Apr. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=4710#> § Booton, Jennifer. “Carnival Fails Crisis 101 in Costa Response”. Fox Business. 27 Jan. 2012. 07 May 2012. <http://www.foxbusiness.com/travel/2012/01/26/experts-say-carnival- should-have-learned-from-wendys-fedex-post-crisis/#ixzz1sOHF8UXr> § Bozicevic, Zoran. ”Striking photos as sinking cruise ship Costa Concordia lies in shallow waters”. National Post. 16 Jan. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/16/striking-photographs-of-tragedy-in-shallow- waters-as-the-costa-concordia-sinks/> § Bryant, Sue. ” Costa Europa Hits Pier In Egypt; Three Dead, Four Injured”. Cruise Critic. 27 Feb. 2010. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3710> § Coleman, Dana. “Costa to Concordia Passengers: “Ya’ll Come Back Now, You Hear!””. Lovell Communications Inc. 24 Jan. 2012. 02 May 2012. <http://lovell.com/crisis- communications/costa-concordia-passengers-%E2%80%9Cya%E2%80%99ll-now- hear%E2%80%9D/>
  36. 36. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  32  of  65   § Cruise Market Watch ~ 22nd January 2012. “Costa Concordia Impact to Cruise Prices and Bookings“. Cruise Market Watch. 22 Jan. 2012. 14 May 2012. <http://www.cruisemarketwatch.com/articles/costa-concordia-impact-to-cruise-prices-and- bookings/> § Derbyshire, David. ”So what DID cause the Costa Concordia to hit the rocks? Human error, electrical failure and uncharted ridge are all theories”. Daily Mail Online. 16 Jan. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2087133/Costa-Concordia-accident- So-DID-cause-cruise-ship-hit-rocks.html#ixzz1shvbwVRR> § Evans, Rebecca, Harris, Paul & Nick Pisa. “Captain Coward: 'I only left because I FELL into lifeboat when ship listed suddenly as I was trying to help'”. Daily Mail Online. 19 Jan. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012.<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2087704/Costa-Concordia- Captain-Francesco-Schettino-I-left-I-FELL-lifeboat.html#ixzz1sgJgpzfk> § Foxnews.com. “Website reviews show slew of past safety concerns raised by Costa Concordia passengers”. Fox News. 17 Jan. 2012. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2012/01/17/website-reviews-show-slew-past-safety- concerns-raised-by-costa-concordia/#ixzz1snkAdVgd> § Funaro, Vincent. “Costa Concordia Survivors 'Insulted' by 30 Percent Cruise Discount Offer”. CP World. 24 Jan. 2012. 9 May 2012. <http://www.christianpost.com/news/costa- concordia-discount-insult-survivors-offered-30-percent-off-next-cruise-67838/> § Hayes, Kevin. “Mom was right: It’s important people like you!” Kevin Hayes: Digital Communications & Social Media Consultant. 13 May 2012. <http://www.kevinhayes.ca/blog/mom-was-right-its-important-people-like-you/#comment- 3126> § Hemus, Jonathan. “Costa Cruise’s blame game is dangerous crisis communication strategy”. Insignia Talks. 16 Jan. 2012. 02 May 2012. <http://insigniatalks.com/2012/01/costa-cruises- blame-game-is-dangerous-crisis-communication-strategy/> § MacMillan, Davis. “Can a Name Change Save Costa Cruises?” The Daily Feed. 1 Mar. 2012. 13 May 2012. <http://www.minyanville.com/dailyfeed/2012/03/01/can-a-name- change-save/> § Paloti, Melissa Baldwin ”Fire Onboard Costa Romantica Impacts Cruise, Cancels Another”. Cruise Critic. 27 Feb. 2009. 22 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3086>
  37. 37. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  33  of  65   § Pisa, Nick ”Huge Operation To Refloat Costa Concordia”. Sky News. 2 Apr. 2012. 21. Apr. 2012. <http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16200962> § Serminara, Dave. “Sailing with Costa, Post-Concordia: A Review of Costa’s Neo Romantica”. Gadling. 15 May 2012. 16 May 2012. <http://www.gadling.com/2012/05/15/sailing-with-costa-post-concordia-a-review-of-costas- neo-roma/>   § Silverstein, Erica. “Update: Costa Cancels Final Europa Cruises in Wake of Tragic Dock Accident”. Cruise Critic. 5 Mar. 2010. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?id=3721> § Sinha, Sanskrity. Costa Hopes to Rebuild Reputation with New Cruise Ship after Deadly Concordia Disaster. International Business Times. 7 May 2012. 14 May 2012. <http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/338012/20120507/costa-concordia-tragedy-cruises-new- ship-fascinosa.htm> § Sloan, Gene. ”Italy cruise ship disaster could take toll on industry”. USA Today. 17 Jan. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/story/2012-01- 17/Cruise-disaster-could-take-toll-on-industry/52622068/1> § Sky News “Ship Was “Too Close To Shore””. Sky News. 6 Feb. 2012. 21. Apr. 2012. <http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16149523> § Squires, Nick. ”Cruise disaster: company say errors made by ship's captain may have caused crash”. The Telegraph. 16 Jan. 2012. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/9017326/Cruise-disaster- company-say-errors-made-by-ships-captain-may-have-caused-crash.html> § Turen, Richard. ”Media bullies and the Concordia”. Travel Weekly. 12 Apr. 2012. 5 May 2012. <http://www.travelweekly.com/Richard-Turen/Media-bullies-and-the-Concordia/> § Walker, Jim. “Will the Costa Cruise Brand Survive?” Cruise Law News. 19 Feb. 2012. 13 May 2012. <http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2012/02/articles/social-media-1/will-the-costa- cruise-brand-survive/> 6.4 Other Online Sources: § Carnival, press room. 2012. Carnival Cruises. 05 May 2012. <http://carnival- news.com/press-room/>  
  38. 38. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  34  of  65   § Market Share: 2012 World Wide Market Share. 2012. Cruise Market Watch. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cruisemarketwatch.com/market-share/> § Costa Cruises on Twitter. 2012. Twitter.com. 30 Apr. 2012. <https://twitter.com/#!/costacruises> § Costa Cruises on Facebook. 2012. Facebook.com. 30 Apr. 2012. <http://www.facebook.com/costacruises.na> § Fri Ferie Cruise. 2012. Danskfriferie.dk. 14 May 2012. <http://www.danskfriferie.dk/cruise> § NYSE Carnival Corporation. 2012. New York Stock Exchange. 14 May 2012. <http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=ccl&fq=D&ezd=1Y&index=5> § NYSE trading hours. 2012. New York Stock Exchange. 14 May 2012. <http://www.nyx.com/holidays-and-hours/nyse> § SocialMention FAQ. 2012. SocialMention.com. 13 May. 2012. <http://socialmention.com/faq> § SocialMention – Costa Cruises. 2012. SocialMention.com. 13 May 2012. <http://www.socialmention.com/search?q=costa+cruises&t=all&btnG=Search> 6.5 Costacruises.com/co.uk Sources: § About Costa. 2012. Costa Cruises. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.costacruises.co.uk/B2C/GB/Corporate/The+company/thecompany.htm> § Company Profile. 2012. Costa Cruises. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.costacruise.com/B2C/USA/Corporate/The+company/aboutourselves/aboutours elves.htm> § Costa Concordia – update. 2012. Costa Cruises. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.costacruises.co.uk/B2C/GB/Info/concordia_statement.htm> § Our values. 2012. Costa Cruises. 20 Apr. 2012. <http://www.costacruise.com/B2C/USA/Corporate/The+company/aboutourselves/ourvalues /ourvalues.htm> § Press. 2012. Costa Cruises. 30 Apr. 2012. <http://www.costacruise.com/B2C/USA/Press/default.htm>
  39. 39. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  35  of  65   § The Company history. Costa Cruises. 19 Apr. 2012. <http://www.costacruises.co.uk/contents/corporate/STORIA_COMPLETA_UK_EU.pdf> 6.6 Online Videos § Foschi, Pier Luigi. Press Conference Costa Concordia - Introduction Speech. 16 Jan. 2012. Costa Cruises on YouTube. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNqAq2bHtFc> § Foschi, Pier Luigi. Senate of the Italian Republic - VIII Permanent Commission for Public Works - Senate of the Italian Republic - Hearing of Wednesday 25th January, 2012. 25 Jan. 2012. Costa Cruises on YouTube. 21 Apr. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1yvWGFcI4Sg#!> 6.7 Other Sources § Grarup, Tine. Gaining Sustainable Competitive Advantages through CSR Engagement and Communication. Corporate Communication 1st semester exam 2011/2012 at Master of Arts in Corporate Communication    
  40. 40. Responding to Crisis: Assessing Situational Crisis Communication of the Costa Concordia Crisis Corporate Communication 2nd semester exam 2012 Master of Arts in Corporate Communication Student:  Tine  Grarup  -­‐  286495     Page  36  of  65   7.1 Appendix 1: Crisis Management Factors Coombs divide crisis management into four interrelated factors arguing that “crisis management is a process of preventing, preparing for, responding, and revising from crises”161 . The two factors of prevention and preparation both are part of the precrisis stage involving actions before a crisis in come across. The factors of response and revision belong to the postcrisis stage being key activities that must take place after the crisis. For the postcrisis stage to begin the crisis need to be recognized including information of how the incident is understood and accepted as crisis. Prevention represents what management and the organization in general should do in order to avoid crises. This involves detecting different warning signs and taking actions accordingly to prevent a possible crisis situation. The news media rarely uncover crisis that did not happen.162 Preparation is the best way to avoid problems related to crisis situations that cannot be prevented, such as harming stakeholders, damaging reputation, losing market share etc. Preparation involves making a crisis management plan (CMP) that should help the organization select and train spokespersons and public employees, it should help diagnose vulnerabilities and on this basis build and improve a crisis communication system.163 Response in a crisis situation is vital for the subsequent survival of the organization/brand. Here the components from the preparation factor above should be applied to the actual crisis situation. The better the preparation the better outcome, as organization’s crisis response often is discussed and critiqued in the media. Communication with stakeholders through words and action is a essential part of this crisis management response phase.164 An element of the response is further recovery, being “the organization’s attempt to return to normal operations”165 . Revision is all about evaluating crisis management and learning from the crisis. Ideally the organization will learn from mistakes and be able to prepare more appropriate actions. Other                                                                                                                           161 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 6 162 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 5 163 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 5 164 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 6 165 Coombs: Ongoing (2007) p. 6

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