Master’s Degree Thesis: Message Or Medium? Weighing Reactionary Differences To An Explicit Apology, Corrective Action, Or Compensation Appearing On Facebook, Twitter, Or Traditional Online Media

With the help of hundreds of people on Twitter and Facebook, I was able to complete my thesis. Here it is:


Message Or Medium?
Weighing Reactionary Differences To An Explicit Apology, Corrective Action, Or Compensation Appearing On Facebook, Twitter, Or Traditional Online Media

A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts.

Social media usage has rapidly become an important part of many organizations’ plans when it comes to reacting to a crisis that results from a transgression. Despite a lack of research on the matter, many crisis management experts often assume that traditional communication tactics carry the same impact on social media as researchers have shown those tactics to have in traditional media. This study extends recent research about response messages and social media (Schultz, Utz & Göritz, 2010; Kerkhof & Beugels, 2011) by comparing two of the most popular social media forums worldwide. This research also builds on current and past research (Coombs, 2006; Coombs, 2008; Pace, Fediuk, & Botero, 2010) by comparing stakeholders’ responses to an explicit apology with their responses to similar-type expressions of regret, corrective action and compensation.

The 3 (apology vs. corrective action vs. compensation) x 3 (Facebook, Twitter-to-Facebook, online news article with response) experimental design introduced stakeholders to a fictitious supermarket facing accusations of customer overcharging. Each participant was exposed to a single condition. A pre-test/post-test design measured the increase in positive opinion of the company following exposure to that condition. Results found stakeholders’ positive opinion of the organization increased for every message and medium. It does not appear that stakeholders preferred any particular medium or message over the others. This suggests that the type of response message may be most important, whereas the specifics of the message or medium may not significantly sway stakeholders. Scholars and practitioners can use this study to better understand how to respond to a transgression through popular social media channels and traditional media.

Read: Full Thesis (.pdf)

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Why You Should Never Leave A Sporting Event Early… Ever… Ever.

The Bruins just lost a hard-fought Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks. It was a final that they probably shouldn’t have been playing in. But, as fate would have it…

I’m going to keep this short and let the pictures and video do the talking.

Down three goals with 10 minutes to go in game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins’ fate look sealed; they were missing the second round of the 2013 playoffs. The two people sitting next to us decided to beat the traffic. These are their seats.


Then this happened.

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Guess Who Got An Honorable Mention From The Boston Bruins For Boston Media Tweet Of The Week


(Humble brag)

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When I Get To Have Fun At Work: Local Craft Beer Edition

Fact: It's okay to drink beer from a blue plastic Solo cup --- as long as it's craft beer.

Fact: It’s okay to drink beer from a blue plastic Solo cup — as long as it’s craft beer.

I’m fortunate enough with my job to be able to embrace some of my hobbies – like drinking craft beer.

I recently wrote a post titled Local Beers You Haven’t Heard of (Yet).

The list includes:
Jack’s Abby
Wormtown Brewery
Idle Hands Craft Ales
Night Shift Brewing

and others… Feel free to take a read the full post at CBS Boston.

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Brits Invade Providence

On August 6th, we headed down to Providence for a night out on the town. The highlight was going to be catching the British folk rock act Mumford & Sons performing at the Providence Performing Arts Center.


After being nominated for a couple of Grammys last year, these guys are still just on the verge of making it big in the U.S. Their following is big, but it’s not full-on mainstream… yet.

Mumford & Sons skipped Boston, so many of the 1450 people packed into the tiny venue had made the trip down. We were in the 7th row thanks in part to the fact I was tipped off to a presale.

When a show sells out in six minutes, you kind of have a good idea what to expect going in. The energy level is going to be intense. Despite my high expectations, the concert still managed to blow me away. The four other couples/groups we went with all echoed that same experience.

I’ve been to dozens, if not hundreds of concerts over the years. I remember a number of the good ones; I can count on one hand the number of great concerts I’ve attended.

This concert was one of them. There was something else though that was incredibly special about it.

Normally I get upset if a band doesn’t play a song (or in this instance, two songs) that I really wanted to hear live.

Somehow, those “flaws” added to the show. The band managed to juggle a commanding stage presence with a comforting vulnerability. They bantered on stage. They joked with the crowd. They asked us to join them. They stood in front of a silent auditorium with no microphones and no amplifiers and just played.

What was so special about this band? I’ve seen bands like U2 and Coldplay absolutely blow away stadium audiences with their theatrics. Somehow, those bands didn’t compare. I’ve seen some of my favorite artists stripped down and playing in intimate settings of less than 100 people. Still, it was difficult for them to compare.

After the show, we were sitting outside our hotel on the bar patio. Coincidentally, the entire band and crew was staying at the same hotel. While we were having drinks, a group – the group, with their significant others and friends – wandered by. They were smiling and laughing and talking, clearly having a great time.

That was it. Something the majority of artists seem to lose track of – they are grateful for, and love what they are doing. It’s not about the fame or the fortune or being the best or even entertaining the audiences. It’s about them having fun, playing music, and simply put, enjoying life. Pure. Fun. These guys have a burning passionate desire to do what they do. They love to play. They love life. Simple.

Too often people lose their passion for life. Things they used to enjoy no longer become fun. Perhaps that’s the saddest thought in the world. To find someone who clings to that passion and celebrates it is inspirational.

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A Baby In The Stanley Cup

The old adage reads “A picture says a thousand words.” This one certainly has a story.

I was on a blogging hiatus when this happened. Here’s how I remember the story. I share Bruins season tickets with three other gentlemen. After the 2011 season, we received two tickets giving us the opportunity to get our photo taken with the Stanley Cup.

Two of us are new dads, and because kids were allowed in without a ticket, the other two were kind enough to bow out and let us take the two tickets.

The photo shoot was at the TD Garden. Both of our wives accompanied us there. They were going to wait outside while we headed in. When we arrived, I contrived a plan to try and guilt the security guards into letting our wives in. I was going to explain how our infants would look back at the photos and wonder why mommy wasn’t there. I was going to explain how much a family photo with the cup would mean to my daughter when she was old enough to understand. Oh yeah… and how much it would mean to me.

We approached the entrance; and I was ready to plead my case.

“Hi. How are you doing? We only have two tickets but our wives are…” I made it that far before I was cut off.

“Go ahead,” the security guard stated without the slightest change to his facial expression.

That was it. Just like that. We were in.

The rest is history.

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Sigh No More. The Mumfords Are Coming To Town

Counting down the days. Can’t wait to see these guys live. In the meantime:

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