The Effects of Responding Strategy with Crisis Narratives on Effectiveness of Communicating Ongoing Crisis of Sexual Harassment

Abstract: Effective response strategies and narratives are crucial for organizations to manage crisis situations. Grounded in SCCT (Coombs, 2007) and narratives of crisis (Seeger & Sellnow, 2016), this study aims to advance crisis communication and narrative research in public relations by looking into publics’ responses to organizational crisis communication in response to sexual harassment accusations under investigation. An online experiment using a U.S. adult sample (N = 697) was conducted to examine the effect of victim’s gender information as reported in the news, narratives used by an employee of the accused organization when discussing the crisis issue on social media, and crisis narratives embedded in the accused organization’s official crisis responses on publics’ perceived crisis responsibility, perceived organizational reputation, and their behavioral intentions toward the organization. Results show: 1) organizational response strategy with the renewal crisis narrative significantly mitigated perceived crisis responsibility; 2) organizational response strategy with the renewal crisis narrative significantly decreased reputational damage and participants’ intention to support the organization; 3) perceived crisis responsibility and perceived organizational reputation functioned as sequential mediators for the relationship between organizational response strategy with the renewal crisis narrative and publics’ supportive behavior intention. This study provides insights into advancing crisis communication theory and crisis narratives as well as offers evidence-based recommendations for effective and ethical public communications when members of an organization are confronted with sexual harassment accusations.

Patriarchal Pits: The gendered experiences of female concert photographers

Abstract: While the presence of women in photojournalism is increasing, the way they are treated by their male counterparts remains unbalanced. Drawing from feminist theory and embodiment, this study examines how the gendered experience plays out for women in a particular niche of photojournalism; concert photography. The restricted access of the music scene and the embodied nature of photojournalism combine to present unique barriers for women. In-depth interviews with male and female concert photographers show women still face a form of patriarchal oppression in the field. This is seen through gendered language, such as ‘one of the guys’ versus a ‘mom in the pit’, embodied actions such as direct sexual harassment or indirect benevolent sexism, and in how women are questioned when they identify themselves as a photographer.