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Communicating during crises

Turning a reputational threat into an opportunity for growth

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Communicating during crises

Turning a reputational threat into an opportunity for growth

Rechten:

Samenvatting

On the night of 8 February 2018, a British newspaper publishes an article about sexual misconduct by one of Oxfam’s affiliates: Oxfam GB (Great Britain). The article claims that several employees of Oxfam GB hired sex workers during the international relief effort in Haiti, in the midst of the 2010 earthquake aftermath. The next morning, the news hits Oxfam’s Dutch affiliate, Oxfam Novib. Soon after, it becomes clear that Oxfam GB informed Oxfam Novib about the case in 2011 and that the organization provided the British humanitarian team with Dutch money. A crisis is born.
Oxfam Novib ends up suffering a great financial loss, losing over 1,700 donors in just the first week. Its reputation is furthermore up for debate. Because of this, Oxfam Novib asks undergraduate researcher Daphne Rozenburg to conduct a research about the organization’s handling during the crisis. The problem statement for the thesis reads: “What can Oxfam Novib do to protect its reputation when faced with a crisis?” The purpose is to create a case study into the Haiti-crisis and to form a crisis communication strategy Oxfam Novib can practice in the future. The researcher looks at the crisis from three angles: the response of Oxfam Novib, the response of the media, and the response to Oxfam Novib’s external crisis communication of this research’s target group: its own employees.
The researcher applies Coombs’ (1995) Situational Crisis Communication Theory to analyze the external crisis communication of Oxfam Novib. It provides three hypotheses, which focus on the attributed crisis responsibility, the crisis response strategies Oxfam Novib implemented, and the consistency with which this was done. To do so, the researcher uses both desk research and qualitative research by conducting thirteen face-to-face interviews with Oxfam Novib’s employees.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Leiden
OpleidingCommunicatie
InstituutFaculteit M&B
PartnersOxfam Novib
Datum2018-08-13
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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