The organization-public relationship and crisis communication
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of organization-public relationships on publics¶ perceptions of a crisis and attitudes toward an organization in crisis. This study used a quasi-experimental, between-subjects design in which 262 participants were exposed to a fictitious crisis case at their university and the universit foury diffs erent crisis-response strategies. The results of a two-way ANOVA revealed that regardless of the level of relationship, publics in the internal cause group were more likely to attribute responsibility to the organization than were those in the external cause group. A three-way MANOVA found the unique effects of relationship, crisis responsibility, and the type of crisis-response strategy on attitudes toward the organization in the crisis, but two-way and three-way interactions among these predictor variables were not significant. The findings suggest that the cultivation of relationships with publics, as well as the effective use of crisis-response strategies, is an essential part of successful crisis management.