Data Breaches and Effective Crisis Communication: A Comparative Analysis of Corporate Reputational Crises
Online data breaches are recurrent and damaging cyber incidents fors organizations worldwide. This study examines how organizations can effectively mitigate reputational damages in the aftermath of data breaches by hacking, through situational crisis communication strategies.
- Sanneke Kuipers & Michael Schonheit
- 04 August 2021
- Data Breaches and Effective Crisis Communication: A Comparative Analysis of Corporate Reputational Crises
Comparable data breach crises do not have an equally negative impact on organizational reputation. Base responses such as comprehensive and exhaustive guidelines, and detailed explanations about the incident to consumers helped to reduce the damage. Corporations responding to data breaches by hacking benefit from admission of responsibility in spite of the initial characterization of such crises as victim crisis types. Organizations that primarily relied on one single strategy, performed better than those that inconsistently blended strategies. Particularly denial was ultimately detrimental to organizational reputation. Self-disclosure allowed companies to positively influence media reporting. Social media communication did not play an important role in the response of the organizations involved. The consistent and timely adoption of compensation, apology, and rectification strategies, combined with reinforcing strategies such as ingratiation and bolstering, positively influenced reputational recovery from the crisis.