I ögat av en firestorm- en netnografisk studie om svenska parakrisers dynamik

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Sammanfattning: In Sweden, we increasingly face headlines where organizations are accused of inappropriate statements, offending ads and unethical actions. These firestorms, which emerge without any warnings, cause major challenges for organizations’ marketing communication. This thesis is written within the field of crisis communication, with an aim to study the dynamics of different Swedish paracrises. The research aimed to understand what happens when social media users utilize their channels to express their dissatisfaction with organizations. Furthermore we identified signs when a paracrisis tend to proceed to a complete crisis and how organizations can communicate to avoid this transition. The aim was based on a literature review that was compiled in this study, which showed that scientists are requesting more research on digital firestorms and context oriented crisis communication. To reach the aim, a netnographic method was used in order to investigate the paracrises of four Swedish organizations’, whose ads have caused negative reactions on social media. Subsequently the empiricism was contextualized by essential concepts, as well as dominant and recently produced theories within the field of crisis communication. Additionally four communication experts were interviewed to enable deeper discussion and conclusions. The result, based on the analysis and the interviews, showed that criticism from stakeholders always is legitimate - regardless its type - hence it always needs to be managed respectfully. Furthermore, we concluded that a merged firestorm which occurs on one platform, represented by stakeholders from an honor- and victimhood culture, increase the risk that a paracrisis develops into a complete ciris. Those paracrises require a modification strategy to decrease the risk of damage, unless the ads are in line with the core values of the organization. Additionally, we drew the conclusion that organizations cannot serve all stakeholders with the same approach, as different moral cultures require different approaches.

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