Using Social Media in Business Crisis Communication

Camilla Lydolph Søe

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master thesis examines the use of social media by companies in a crisis communication. The research have been done by an intimate study of two crises - one in Bogø Sandwich and one in Jensens Bøfhus focusing on both challenges and opportunities.
Furthermore, the study researches how to integrate social media in the companies in an effective way.
The research is based on a methodological qualitative study to ensure the ability to go deeper into the theory and analysis explaining mechanisms within a crisis. Therefore, the analysis is primarily based on five interviews with respondents chosen carefully in order to be able to discuss underlying dynamics and the complexity on crisis communication in social media.
During spring 2016 Bogø Sandwich in Aalborg ended up being the center of Denmarks attention in the programme Operation X on TV 2. Problems with paychecks in the company caused former employees to charge Bogø Sandwich with fraud and exploitation leading to an image crisis. With a small staff it was difficult for the owner, Akram, to take control of the situation both online and in the tradional medias.
In Fall 2014 Jensens Bøfhus had a massive crisis in the media due to their lawsuit against Jensens Fiskerestaurant when claiming the right to use the company name ‘Jensens’. The interest from the mass media led Jensens Bøfhus into an image crisis in which they still suffer from today.
Both cases led to what can be categorized as a business crisis resulting in mayor attention from news media all over Denmark. This caused a social media shit storm for both of the companies. The findings of the research show that social media can be well integrated in crisis communication giving the company the opportunity to minimize the charged and present their own perspectives. On the other hand new digital media causes new challenges and they should be handled very carefully.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2016
Number of pages195