Public Relations Review vol:41 issue:1 pages:64-71
This study investigates the degree to which a favorable (vs. an unfavorable) pre-crisis reputation shields organizations from reputational loss due to crises. The results indicate that organizations with a favorable pre-crisis reputation suffer less reputational loss from a crisis than organizations with an unfavorable pre-crisis reputation. The explanation for this effect is that consumers are reluctant to change their initial attitude toward an organization and therefore attribute less responsibility for a crisis to organizations with a favorable pre-crisis reputation. Finally, the findings show that the positive impact of a favorable pre-crisis reputation not only protects organizations against the harms of a crisis event, but against subsequent negative publicity and external allegations as well.