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En vellykket krisekommunikation? Air Greenlands krisekommunikation - internt og eksternt perspektiv

By Jacob Christiansen, Kristine Christiansen, Heidi Juul Petersen, Allan Møller-Petersen and Anette Wintlev-Jensen

Abstract

The majority of the investigations into crisis communication are studying crisis communication after the escalation of a crisis. In this thesis, we examine a case where the potential media crises did not evolve. The fact that a media crisis never occurred made us curious, and such a case may hold valuable information about the efficacy of crisis communication. On the 29th of January 2014 an aircraft from Air Greenland (AG) crashed in Greenland. This resulted in only minor casualties. As a consequence, AG activated their emergency system which included crisis communication to key stakeholders. To understand why this crisis did not escalate in the media or at Facebook, we chose to gather empirical data from several sources. Empirical data were gathered using mainly qualitative methods. We conducted interviews with three key employees from AG, who were central to AG’s crisis communication. The objective of these interviews was to obtain an inside perspective on AG’s crisis communication. In addition, we held a focus group interview with AG customers to capture a primary stakeholders’ attitude towards AG and the accident. We collected comments from AG’s Facebook page and comments from an online version of a popular Greenlandic newspaper Sermitsiaq. Furthermore, we analyzed AG’s press releases and a designed storyline intended for a press conference, which was never conducted. Using this data, we analyzed AG’s image, AG’s chosen framing of the accident, and which degree of responsibility AG attributed themselves. We used a variety of crisis communication theories, including W. Benoit’s response strategies, W. Timothy Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT), and Coombs’ theory of halo and velcro-effect. We found the reason why this case did not evolve into a media crisis was a quick response strategy and a successful framing accepted into a Greenlandic context. The positive view of the reputation of AG and their pilots have contributed to general acceptance of the communication strategies by the stakeholders and the fact that AG’s attribution was considered low. We cannot generalize our results, since this was a unique case; however, to a certain extent we can generalize our analytic approach to similar cases

Topics: krisekommunikation; crisis communication, Air Greenland; aircraft accident
Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:rudar.ruc.dk:1800/23149

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