Crisis Communication on Social Media: A content analysis of fast-­‐ fashion companies response to the Rana Plaza factory collapse and the subsequent reaction of stakeholders

Caroline Aaseby

Studenteropgave: Kandidatafhandlinger


research has set out to examine crisis communication on the social media platform Facebook, using the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 as an example. Using the Social Set Visualizer, a big data visual analytics tool, information was gathered from the Facebookpages of three companies; H&M, Mango and Benetton. The aim of the paper was to get a holistic view of the firms’ crisis communication, and as such information was gathered on the social media engagement of the brands and their followers before, during and after the Rana Plaza factory collapse. The topic of CSR was also investigated, to get a better understanding of what initiatives the firms were involved in and how these were communicated to their followers. The Situational Crisis Communication Theory was used to analyse communication regarding the Rana Plaza factory collapse, while theories on brand communities was used to get an understanding and basis for analysis of the everyday use of Facebook by the brands. An introduction to the main issues facing CSR-practices used by brands today was also provided, to aid in the understanding of how the Rana Plaza collapse could occur and who was to blame. To analyse and code the data, content analysis was used as a methodology. This was both quantitative and qualitative in nature, as coding of the data was used to understand how the brands used Facebook on an everyday basis, while a qualitative, more in-depth, content analysis was done for the communication during the crisis period. The findings uncovered that the primary factor in engaging members in a social media based brand community is understanding what the members want out of the community and what motivates them to engage. The study also found that crisis rarely have a long-last impact on social media based brand communities, as engagement on the pages quickly went back to normal after the crisis. In terms of CSR, the study uncovered that this is not a large part of brand’s focus on social media, however it is also not a large topic of discourse amongst followers. Additions were also made to current theory on crisis communication. The study theorises that a larger reputational damage will occur if a brand has a strong presence on social media and fail to actively communicate with followers during a crisis. Finally, practical recommendations for managers were provided.

UddannelserCand.merc.imm International Marketing and Management, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling
Antal sider137