Corporate Reputation Review

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Corporate Responses to Critical Journalistic Interview Requests: An Experimental Study on Crisis Prevention

  • Thomas Koch
  • Nora DennerEmail author
  • Benno Viererbl
  • Sascha Himmelreich
Original Article


Journalists sometimes uncover deficiencies, abuses, and mistakes made by companies. As part of their professional duty, journalists usually give companies the opportunity to tell their side of the story; thus, a company has the chance to mitigate an oncoming crisis. The present study tests this idea using the example of a television report about the sugar content of baby food. We vary the company’s applied strategies (primary as well as secondary strategies) and the presentation form (written versus presented by a spokesperson in front of the camera). Our findings show that attacks against journalists are perceived rather negatively, while apologies and justifications are more convincing. Perceptions of the company are also improved when a statement is presented by a spokesperson rather than simply presented in writing.


Corporate crisis Crisis communication Issues management Situational crisis communication theory Experiment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited & Reputation Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Koch
    • 1
  • Nora Denner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benno Viererbl
    • 1
  • Sascha Himmelreich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationJohannes Gutenberg-Universität MainzMainzGermany

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