The prevalence of social media among networked publics calls for more research regarding how organizations can conduct effective crisis communication on social networking sites. Based on the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) and the discourse of renewal (DOR) theory, this study examined how social media publics’ sentiments were affected by situational and renewing organizational responses in various clusters of crises. Twitter data of six crises representing three crisis clusters varying in the responsibility attribution (i.e., ambiguous, accidental, and preventable) were collected. We conducted a content analysis on organizations’ official tweets during crises (N = 59) and sentiment analysis on publics’ replies on Twitter (N = 4,340). The results showed that publics’ positive sentiments toward organizations were affected by organizational crisis responses that included instructing information, sympathy, systemic organizational learning, and effective organizational rhetoric. We recommend that crisis managers express sympathy toward publics as well as organizational learning that prevents a crisis from happening again.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Crisis communication
- Discourse of renewal
- Sentiment analysis
- Situational crisis communication theory
- Social media