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Managing political crisis: an interactional approach to "image repair"
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1089-5819
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Communication Management, ISSN 1363-254X, E-ISSN 1478-0852, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 264-279Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to extend the image repair theory by focusing on the largely ignored context of the face-to-face communication. The paper offers an exploratory study of how image repair work is carried out in interviews with politicians in the context of press conferences.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper combines theoretical reflections with two qualitative case studies of press conferences of Swedish politicians. These press conferences were held to manage the challenge posed to the politicians’ public image by the media criticism. The analytical frame employed in this study is Conversation Analysis (CA).

Findings - The way journalists act during interviews and how they pose questions have noticeable consequences for the accused actor´s image repair work. Image repair strategies like "apologizing" and "mortification" during the speech section of a press conference tend to be more effective as they give the accused greater opportunities to take control of the interaction.

Research limitations/implications - Due to the exploratory nature of this interactional approach and the fact that the analysis involves only two cases, the findings must be seen as provisional.

Practical implications - The knowledge of how journalists construct question is of high relevance for crisis communication and image repair work, and therefore of high value of public relations practitioners.

Originality/value - The interactional approach to image repair offers a new theoretical frame for the understanding of crisis management in interview situations. The approach especially highlights the importance of journalists' questions in image repair work. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 16, no 3, p. 264-279
Keywords [en]
Crisis communication, Image repair, Conversation analysis, press conferences, government
National Category
Social Sciences Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-23369DOI: 10.1108/13632541211245776OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-23369DiVA, id: diva2:532354
Available from: 2012-06-11 Created: 2012-06-11 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, GöranEriksson, Mats

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CiteExportLink to record
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