Date of Award

4-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Communications (M.S.)

Department

School of Communications

Abstract

This research analyzes the crisis communication messages of the two organizations British Petroleum (BP) and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The study looks at organizations' press-releases, Facebook updates and tweets. The research looks at detecting four main themes in the companies' crisis communication messages: trust, collaboration, commitment, and interactivity. This study then goes on to look at the crisis communication strategies.

BP's 60 press releases and 70 Facebook updates along with TEPCO's 60 press releases and 65 tweets were analyzed. The findings of the research showed that BP mainly addressed the company's commitment to resolve the crisis. Additionally, the organization emphasized collaboration, and its financial losses. The company both emphasized its financial losses incurred during the crisis, and the amount of the compensation paid to victims of the crisis. TEPCO stressed commitment and collaboration. Additionally, the organization expressed apologies. In most cases, the company started press releases with apologies for the inconveniences caused by the accident and their commitment to do their best to tackle the impact of the crisis as soon as possible. Yet, TEPCO did not provide any information about the cost of their corrective actions or any compensation paid, if any, to victims of the crisis compared to BP.

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