Choosing the Right Words Academic Article uri icon


  • Although crisis management has evolved rapidly over the past decade, the symbolic aspect of crisis management has been ignored. More specifically, little research has examined crisis-response strategies (public statements made after a crisis) to see how these messages can be used to shape public perceptions of the crisis and the organization in crisis. This article synthesizes existing literature to create a list of crisis-response strategies and develops a set of guidelines for appropriate use of a given strategy. The guidelines are based upon Attribution Theory and use the crisis situation and the publics as the factors that help to determine when a crisis-response strategy is appropriate.

published proceedings

  • Management Communication Quarterly

altmetric score

  • 4.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Coombs, W. T.

citation count

  • 498

complete list of authors

  • Coombs, W Timothy

publication date

  • May 1995