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Image Management is Key for some

Really interesting article I found while Google-ing about “How to assess a rumor vs threat”

Most of this article really reminded me of Pathway Church, but looking at other news articles, see other church cover ups, thinking about some of the older pastors, and even some of the past events at Pathway Church, it’s really interesting to see, read and fully understand that the appearance of Image Management really does exist in almost each and every one of these scenarios – the key similarities in all of these scenarios are really interesting.

Here’s some interesting notable lines from the article:

When our image or reputation is threatened, we are driven to alleviate the problem.

image repair strategies are: denial, evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification. Denial strategy involves denying the offense took place or denying that he or she performed the offensive action. The evading responsibility strategy involves four variants: scapegoat by claiming provocation, defeasibility by pleading lack of information, by claiming the offense as an accident, and by claiming the offense may be justifiable. Reducing offensiveness strategy tries to reduce the level of negative feelings experienced by the audience by bolstering, minimizing the offense, and by placing the offense in a different context. Corrective action strategy promises to correct the problem that may have caused the offense. Mortification strategy involves an outright apology, admitted responsibility, and a request for forgiveness

Image is usually determined by the stakeholders’ and publics’ perceptions of the organization or brand as a result of words or actions of that organization or brand. An organization’s reputation is normally damaged or threatened when the organization is held 5 accountable for an undesirable event.

The study lists Benoit’s five image repair strategies as denial, evasion of responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification. A communicator can use denial as simple denial by claiming it did not perform the act, or just shift blame saying another party is responsible (Holtzhausen & Roberts, 2009). One can use evasion to argue that the critical action was provoked, argue defeasibility due to lack of information or ability, claim it was an accident or claim good intentions. Communicators can reduce offensiveness by bolstering and stressing its good traits, minimization, differentiation by pointing out similar issues by another organization that may be more offensive, transcendence, attacking the accuser or compensating the victim. Corrective action offers a plan to solve or prevent a problem. Finally, mortification is basically being apologetic. The study also touches on contingency theory as it relates to strategic intent and complexity.

According to the inoculation theory, stealing thunder offers organizations the opportunity to warn stakeholders about an upcoming attack, and inoculate them with a weaker version of the attack. The change of meaning hypothesis on the other hand proposes that when organizations reveal negative information, stakeholders will attempt to reconcile the apparent paradox by changing the meaning of the disclosure in order to make it consistent with their existing beliefs about the organization. Other possible explanations that have received attention are the framing hypothesis, according to which an ex-ante crisis timing strategy works because it allows organizations to frame the crisis in their own terms and downplay its severity, and the commodity theory, according to which an external attack loses its value after an organization has self-disclosed the same information first.”

HOLY CRAPPERS, I HAD NO CLUE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ACTUALLY EXISTED 😉 Jeeze, this reminds me of Ms. Conaway’s daily life, and looking back over all the actions from Rick to Katy to Shane to Kevin bugging my sister & brother-in-law at the softball fields….. this all seems to fall into place.

Who the hell ever knew there were manuals on managing bullsh!t like this. Apparently this was this dudes Graduate Thesis?


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