Anna Mee Allerslev vs. B.T. & the Public

Mathilde Wendelholm Klüver & Kristina Louise Norstrand

Student thesis: Master thesis


PURPOSE: The purpose of this master’s thesis is to investigate the influence of the framing of guilt among selected actors on Facebook in the case of the Major of Employment and Integration at The Copenhagen Municipality, Anna Mee Allerslev, and her cost-free loan of the City Hall in Copenhagen in 2017 relate to her wedding reception, and how this led to Anna Mee Allerslev’s resignation. Furthermore, we seek to explore whether this resignation could have been avoided.

THEORY: To investigate this case, which we treat as a crisis, we have drawn upon theory from different fields. We use framing theory as an overall theoretical framework to explore the framing across the different domains in the case. As a supplement to the actors’ framing, we introduce crisis communications theory to explore how the crisis was viewed by the respective actors and handled by Anna Mee Allerslev. News value theory was introduced to examine how the actor B.T. chose to frame the news stories about the crisis. Theory of social media mechanisms, more specifically electronic word-of-mouth, shitstorms, echo chambers and filter bubbles were introduced to examine how the public’s framing in the comments may have been influenced by other publics and Facebook itself.

METHODOLOGY: We have conducted a content analysis on data collected from Facebook from three respective domains: the public, the news media and PR. In our data collection, we use Facebook comments from Anna Mee Allerslev’s Facebook profile and comments from B.T.’s Facebook profile to symbolize the public. We use articles posted on B.T.’s Facebook profile to symbolize the news media. We use Anna Mee Allerslev’s posts on her Facebook profile to symbolize PR. After gathering the data, we coded the data collection according to framing of guilt according to the current situation in the sub-arenas.

FINDINGS: We found that B.T. and the Public succeeds in framing Anna Mee Allerslev as guilty in causing the crisis. Anna Mee Allerslev, on the other hand, was unsuccessful in her endeavors to establish the opposite frame, namely that she was ‘not guilty’. We suspect that this failure is due to her misinterpretation of the Public’s view of the crisis type resulting in her applying an insufficiently accommodative crisis response strategy. We argue, that she could have benefited from applying a suitable crisis response strategy earlier on, in which she could have apologized sincerely for her actions and compensated financially for the cost-free loan of the City Hall.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages112