Competing frames and tone in corporate communication versus media coverage during a crisis

Jos Nijkrake, Jordi F. Gosselt, Jan M. Gutteling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
588 Downloads (Pure)


Managing corporate communication through a crisis response strategy may limit negative media coverage, thereby affecting public perceptions during crisis situations. However, because different stakeholders are being informed via multiple channels, different messages may reach the public, creating competing frames. This study examines how an organization's crisis response affects media coverage. Using content analysis, media coverage messages (N = 128) and corporate communication messages (N = 24) were compared regarding an organization in crisis. All messages were analyzed considering five news frames and tone (ranging from very negative to very positive) toward internal and external stakeholders. Findings indicate that the media reframed corporate communication messages, using more and different news frames than the organization in crisis. Furthermore, media coverage messages and corporate communication messages differed in the mentioned aspects within various news frames. All stakeholders are covered significantly more negatively in media coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-88
JournalPublic relations review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015


  • Competing frames
  • Crisis communication
  • Crisis response strategy
  • Framing
  • Tone
  • Media coverage


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