Over the past years communication patterns have been changing continuously due to increased public demand for information and knowledge. Numerous social networks and websites have escalated and gained the attention of the academics and practitioners, as well as the business society. Previously scholars researched this field of interest from different perspectives. Thus it could be stated that the emphasis was put on the impact of the certain social media networks in terms of communication strategy. However, no holistic approach has been noticed in regards to why and how companies can use different media simultaneously in order to overcome a crisis situation. This research is aimed at filling the gap within existing literature.
This thesis complements the previous studies and provides a broader understanding upon the role of social media in the crisis communication process by the use of the triangulation method. This approach refers to the implementation of both quantitative and qualitative studies based on a questionnaire addressed to various organisations and by observing the actions taken by the company currently facing the crisis situation. The empirical findings provided concrete data on why companies use social media and how they can be deployed to communicate with the large audience during turbulent times.
The conducted study revealed that even if social media plays an important role in the communication and information sharing, traditional media is still perceived as more trustworthy by the organisations. Therefore, companies in crisis should combine the use of these two kinds of media in their corrective actions taken in order to regain public trust and overcome the crisis.
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