What is the Role Played by Social Media in Crisis Communications? (2013)

Crisis Communications and Social Media Dissertation – This dissertation will examine the communication strategies of Ryanair and EasyJet firstly to gain an insight into the online presence of the two companies pre-crisis and to determine if social media had been incorporated into their communication plans prior to the volcanic ash crisis. Secondly, the study will examine how the airlines utilised communication through social media during the volcanic ash crisis.

Once it has been established how social media is utilised in a crisis, and how Ryanair and EasyJet used social media to assist in their communication, further research will be undertaken to outline the effect of a crisis on a brands reputation, and how social media can be used to maintain consumer perception of a brand following negative publicity. The purpose of study into this area will be to determine the capabilities of social media and ultimately to determine if social media communication has the strength and potential to maintain brand reputation following a crisis.

The outcome of this dissertation will be to provide a theoretic and practical understanding of the role of social media in a crisis situation and to determine its effectiveness in maintaining brand reputation. The proposed study aims to investigate the role of social media in a crisis situation. To explore social media in regard to crisis communication the following research questions have been developed:

  • How do organisations utilise social media in a crisis situation
  • What effect does social media have on consumer perception of a brand
  • 12,000 words – 48 pages in length
  • Excellent use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for marketing and communications students

1. Introduction
Research objectives

2. Literature Review
Social Media
Social Networks
Crisis communication and Social Media
What defines a crisis?
Crisis types
Benoit’s Image Restoration Strategy
Situational Crisis Communication Theory
Crisis history
Defining social media
Social media as a tool
Social media as two-way communication
Social media and brand reputation

3. Methodology
Primary Data Research

4. Primary Research Findings
A content analysis of Ryanair and EasyJet
Ryanair Content Analysis Findings
EasyJet Content Analysis Findings
Findings Summary from the Consumer Survey
Brand Awareness, Consumers and Social Media
Perceptions of EasyJet and Ryanair
Further observations

5. Findings – Literature Comparisons
Discussion of the Content Analysis
Discussion of the Survey Findings

6. Conclusion


Appendix Section

Crisis Communications and Social Media Dissertation
Crisis Communications and Social Media Dissertation

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