Analysis Of William Benoit's Crisis Response Defense Strategy

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In order to explore the research questions concerning the Staten Island, Ferguson and North Charleston Police Department accusations of police brutality crises, a quantitative content analysis and qualitative interviews was conducted.
The theoretical framework for this research focused primarily on William Benoit’s (1995; 1997) theory of image restoration, which builds on apologia—“the use of communication to defend one’s reputation from public attack” (Ware & Linkugel, 1973)—and accounts—“statements people use to explain their behavior when that behavior is called into question” (Coombs, 2014).
Through systematic content analysis, documentation pertaining to the recent incidents involving Staten Island, Ferguson and North Charleston Police
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In regards to Ferguson Police Department’s crisis response defense strategy, the coding results of the systematic content analysis in Table 1.2 indicated that the evading responsibility variant, provocation, was detected in 25% of the article analyzed, followed by the corrective action defense strategy in 10%. When coding the documentation pertaining to North Charleston Police Department’s Walter Scott crisis, the coding results of the systematic content analysis in Table 1.3 indicated that the denial variant, separation, was detected in 35% of the articles reviewed followed by the evading responsibility variant, provocation, which was detected in …show more content…
Of the 20 articles analyzed—relating to Staten Island Police Department’s Eric Garner crisis—50% of the articles contained negative statement about the Staten Island Police Department; of the 20 articles analyzed for Ferguson Police Department, 16% of them contained negative statements about the Ferguson Police; and of the 20 articles analyzed for North Charleston Police Department, 90% of them contained negative statements about the North Charleston Police Department.
Lastly, for RQ1c, the coding results in Table 1.1 through 1.3 indicated that because there were no positive reputational impact(s) detected for Staten Island, Ferguson or North Charleston Police Department, the execution of one or more of Benoit’s image restoration strategies coupled with crisis communications “best practices” did not occur or was lacking in some aspect.
Qualitative Electronic Interview

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