ReviewWeathering the crisis: Effects of stealing thunder in crisis communication

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Reed College of Media


Crisis communication research has generally focused on how to respond to public’s reaction after a crisis is known to various stakeholders. Stealing thunder is a proactive crisis communication strategy by which an organization releases crisis information before media gets a hold of the crisis. This study investigated the effects of stealing thunder and moderating effect of organization’s persuasive intent and consumers’ attachment on stealing thunder. Stealing thunder was effective when participants were not explicitly aware of the persuasive intent in the crisis message. When participants were aware of persuasive intent, stealing thunder effects disappeared. Brand attachment also moderated the effects of stealing thunder. Participants with high brand attachment evaluated stealing thunder information more positively compared to those with low brand attachment.

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