Post-Crisis Communication in a Technology Driven Environment: Target Data Breach Analysis
Kelly Conner, Stephen C. Brokaw, Kristy McManus

Crises are detrimental to an organization’s reputation. When a crisis occurs within an organization, they are expected to respond to those affected through the most effective and efficient mediums possible. With an increase in technology use, social media has become increasingly important as a post-crisis communication strategy for addressing external audiences. Social media is a sense-making tool for those affected by crises, because of it’s fast, relevant and interactive nature. In this research, Target’s post-crisis communication concerning their 2013 data breach is analyzed through a Twitter and press release analysis and then compared to Neiman Marcus’ and Michaels’ post-crisis communication. Results show that Target not only properly aligned their crisis type to their crisis response strategy, but also tailored their crisis-response to the external environment in which they operate. By aligning their crisis, their crisis response strategy, and the external environmental factors, there is a less negative effect on Target’s reputation.

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