The emergence of online communication reflects a shift in communication practitioners’ roles, with more emphasis on interactive features in news such as writing online comments and clicking “like” on such comments. A 2 (consistency: consistent crisis responsibility attribution between online news and online comments vs. inconsistent responsibility attribution) × 2 (heuristic cues: high vs. low number of “likes” clicked) mixed subject design was tested on N = 389 samples. The findings of this study showed that participants tended to attribute less crisis responsibility and held an improved regard of reputation towards a corporation when they read online comments defending the corporation compared to when participants only read the news. Our findings suggest corporate communication practitioners should acknowledge the role of online comments that could motivate people to attribute crisis responsibility in a positive direction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management Information Systems
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law