INTRODUCTION

Image management is actually important to corporations along with other

organizations, particularly inside crisis situations. The Particular monetary crisis

in your United States, which led for the failure of the significant number of

banking firms, provides produced firm popularity management very important.

More stakeholders appear in bank governance as compared to inside non-financial types

of companies because of for you to banks' role inside marketing the steadiness of the

economy and in addition the liquidity function. Therefore, loss of confidence in the

banking system may cause serious, systemic economic problems. The

bailout for your monetary industry as well as the economic rescue packages

offered to choose huge U.S. banking firms as a part of the particular Troubled Asset

Relief Plan (TARP) and the TARP Richesse Buy Plan served to

appease a number of concerns involving bank clients along with stockholders. However, the

economic crisis and also its aftermath continue to trigger significantly concern pertaining to all

stakeholders of banking firms.

The 1st purpose of this paper would become to talk about the significance of

corporate popularity management when crisis scenarios threaten the

company's image. the 2nd purpose would always be to illustrate the employment of

communication theory to evaluate corporate responses in order to crises. Finally,

we use two crisis response frameworks, Coombs' (2007) Situational

Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) as well as Benoit's (1995) Image

Restoration Typology, to analyze Citigroup (Citi) responses for you to the

company's 2008 economic crisis. We in addition measure the effectiveness

of Citi's responses utilizing Coombs' SCCT as well as Benoit and

Czerwinski's (1997) framework.

In late November involving 2008, Citi's CEO, Vikram Pandit called the

company's universal banking model "the right model" and

said that its strategy has been being "the world's really global

universal bank" (Read & Lepro, 2009). Times later, the

government stepped inside together with an amazing amount of dollars associated with bailout money to

prevent the lender from failing. Citi ended up being criticized for not having a

credible management team or even a credible board (Dash, 2008). Within fact,

William Smith involving Smith Asset Management declared "the difficulty with

Citi may end up being the model, the particular execution, the particular management" (Read &

Lepro, 2009). All Through its economic crisis, Citi faced several

situations which threatened its image and also necessitated the response.

An analysis of Citi's responses for you to events precipitated by simply the

U.S. financial meltdown using two theoretical frameworks (Coombs, 2007;

Benoit, 1995) provides useful info to bank managers,

communication professionals, and also investors relating to the types of

responses firms could supply responding to end up being able to crisis events and also the

effectiveness of these responses in sustaining or perhaps restoring the

firm's status next the crisis. results of the analysis

indicate that Citi employed bolstering strategies the majority of often in order to respond to

events that threatened its image. Any time firms use bolstering strategies,

they make an effort to develop their particular images simply by telling stakeholders about past

and present great works (Coombs, 2007) plus they use other forms of

puffery to cut back the actual offensiveness in the crisis (Benoit, 1995). Citi

also employed corrective motion strategies throughout its responses if the company

tried to create amends for the wrong that was dedicated as well as took actions to

prevent recurrence with the crisis (Coombs, 2007; Benoit, 1995).

Stakeholders are generally nearly all involved through how the crisis affects them. By Simply using

corrective motion strategies the company communicates what actions it

plans to take in order to protect stakeholders coming from future harm. We furthermore find

that Citi utilized efficient communication strategies throughout five of the ten

excerpts we analyzed in accordance with Coombs (2007) and Benoit &

Czerwinski (1997) frameworks.

CORPORATE CRISIS AND REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

Corporate crisis will be defined being an unexpected, nonroutine event that

creates uncertainty and also threatens an organization's legitimacy

(Seeger, et al., 1998). Crises can harm stakeholders (community members,

employees, customers, as well as stockholders) each psychologically and

financially (Coombs, 2007).

Crisis circumstances typically bring about negative publicity, which

threatens the particular corporation's image or perhaps reputation. a company's

reputation develops by means of the info stakeholders receive about

the organization, the vast majority of that is derived continue from your media and from the

Internet. Therefore, media coverage is definitely an essential feature of

reputation management. Corporate status can be widely recognized as a

valuable, intangible asset which could "attract customers, generate

investment interest, enhance economic performance, attract best employee

talent, improve the return about assets, produce a competitive advantage,

and garner positive remarks through monetary analysts" (Coombs,

2007, p. 164).

Corporate communication may be defined as "the procedure through

which stakeholders perceive that the organization's identity,

image, as well as reputation are formed" (Balmer & Gray, 2003).

Corporate communication throughout a crisis reflects the firm's

strategic management in the circumstance and is critical within identifying how

much, if any, damage is performed towards the firm's image. Because

stakeholders attribute several responsibility for the organization or

industry by which your crisis exists, communications must explain the

facts with the crisis and provide the feeling in which steps are increasingly being taken

to make sure that the particular crisis won't occur once more (Fortunato, 2008). By

strategically managing your crisis scenario via reliable, credible,

and transparent communication, the corporation addresses

stakeholders' anxieties, manages its corporate image, as well as restores

its status (Geppert & Lawrence, 2008).

CRISIS IN THE BANKING INDUSTRY

The crisis in the banking business greatly diminished the

industry's reputation and the reputations in the firms experiencing

serious financial problems and/or facing failure. Since of the banking

industry's role in sustaining monetary and economic stability, it

is critical which confidence will be maintained through successful response

strategies for you to crises. Also, according to Flyvholm & Isaksson (2008),

it is specially essential regarding firms that specialize in intangible

products or perhaps solutions (such as banks) to keep a positive reputation.

Bank customers acquire products and services which are related with

financial danger and desire to be reassured in which the company could be trusted.

Michael Sheehan, president associated with Sheehan Associates, a crisis

communications firm in Washington, D.C. observes, "The stakes are

higher along with lot much more private in banking. Banks possess cultivated their

customers' trust and consumers anticipate banks to become responsible

entities" (Valentine 2007, p. 39). The Particular strategies banking firms use

to communicate their own responses to be able to crisis situations are critical to

maintaining their particular reputations.

U.S. Banking Crisis: The Situation regarding Citigroup

Citigroup, one of the actual largest financial services companies inside the

United States, suffered massive losses throughout the economic crisis associated with 2007

and 2008. Coming From early within the decade until 2007, Citi invested heavily in

mortgage-related assets, and by September regarding 2007, the organization owned

approximately $43 billion of those assets. Inside mid-November associated with 2007, the

market worth of Citigroup's stock had been $180 billion; 1 12 months later,

on November 21, 2008, its marketplace capitalization ended up being approximately $20

billion, a loss of almost 90%. Throughout all, the lender reported about $20

billion in losses throughout 2008 (Morcroft, 2008). Citi experienced financial

difficulties since of the credit crunch and also the write-downs involving bad

investments as well as other assets. Your company's problems were also

attributed to be able to an unhealthy economy and also lax regulatory oversight, together with

the company's lack of a suitable danger management structure.

Citi ended up being criticized to be a big company without having a cohesive

management strategy. Within October regarding 2008, Citi received $25 billion as

part of your government investment within banks to always be able to bolster their balance sheets

(Morcroft, 2008). However, this does little for you to alleviate concerns about

the risks remaining on the firm's books. The Actual price of Citi's

shares fell 60% during the week regarding November 17, 2008 (Morcroft, 2008).

Because associated with this, the government chose to try yet another approach to avoid

Citi's collapse plus a further loss involving confidence inside the U.S.

financial system.

On November 24, 2008, Citigroup announced inside a press launch that

the company had reached an agreement using the U.S. Treasury, the Federal

Reserve Board, as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on a

series associated with steps to "strengthen Citi's capital ratios, reduce

risk, and increase liquidity" (Citigroup, Press Release, November

24, 2008). The Particular crisis faced by simply Citigroup within late 2007 and also 2008 presented

the company's management team with most the challenge of keeping the

company's reputation and creating a good image.

COMMUNICATION THEORY AND CRISIS RESPONSE STRATEGIES

Researchers are suffering from numerous image restoration strategies

based upon social legitimacy theory, which argues that will an

organization's continued existence will be contingent about its capability to

receive assistance or approval through stakeholder audiences. Your typologies

used within this paper to investigate corporate responses to always be able to crisis are

Coombs' Situational Crisis Communication Theory (Coombs, 2007) and

Benoit's Image Restoration Typology (1995). Kim, et al. (2009, p.

446) state that will those two models possess "... provided dominant

paradigms regarding crisis communication research." Coombs (2007, p. 163)

states "research using SCCT relies on experimental strategies rather

than case studies." Coombs describes Benoit's typology as

"a descriptive system utilized to analyze crisis cases" as well as writes

that Benoit's model "... delivers absolutely no conceptual hyperlinks between

the crisis reaction strategies and also elements of the crisis

situation" (Coombs, 2007, p. 171). However, Caldiero (2005, p. 4)

writes: "Benoit frames his theory throughout relation to communication and,

more specifically, aim achievement. In the actual event that these goals consist of not necessarily only

image repair, but in addition relationship repair, then Benoit's work can

be beneficial when assessing public reaction campaigns." The

objectives of this research include evaluating the 2 frameworks and

evaluating whether the Benoit and Coombs frameworks are generally constant in

determining appropriate as well as effective crisis reaction strategies.

Coombs' Situational Crisis Communication Theory

Coombs' (2007) framework, Situational Crisis Communication

Theory (SCCT), maintains that will communication affects people's

perceptions in a crisis. Any time crisis managers use SCCT, they will must

examine your crisis circumstance so as to determine the reputational

threat level presented from the crisis. Your three aspects that shape

reputational threat are generally 1) initial crisis responsibility or even how much

stakeholders believe organizational actions caused the actual crisis, 2) crisis

history, which is if an organization has had a similar

crisis within the past, and 3) prior relational reputation, or how well or

poorly a business may be perceived to end up being able to treat stakeholders throughout the

past. Any positive corporate status could insulate the firm against

negative crisis events (Carroll, 2009), but both the reputation crises

or unfavorable prior relational popularity can intensify the actual attribution

of crisis to the company. These kinds of elements allow managers you might anticipate how

stakeholders will perceive and also react to the organization and in addition to the

crisis itself.

Coombs additionally defines three crisis clusters depending on attributions of

crisis responsibility: 1) victim cluster, where there's really weak

attribution of crisis duty as well as the organization is actually viewed as a

victim; 2) accidental cluster, exactly where there is minimal attribution of

crisis duty as well as the event is actually considered unintentional or

uncontrollable from the organization; 3) intentional (preventable)

cluster, where there's very good attribution of crisis responsibility

and the huge event can be considered purposeful.

According in order to SCCT, the first priority inside a crisis situation will be to

protect stakeholders. A New strategy pertaining to helping stakeholders cope along with the

crisis can be adjusting (adapting information). As soon As this step will take place,

the organization can start to try to restore its image by simply using crisis

response strategies including: 1) deny, 2) diminish, along with 3) rebuild.

Table 1 below contains details of these crisis reaction strategies.

In order to acquire a deny strategy to be effective, stakeholders must

accept the actual response. In case this is the actual case, the organization will

experience no reputational harm. In case an organization runs upon the diminish

strategy, management must have solid, credible evidence to support its

response to end up being able to be able to decrease damage towards the organization's

reputation. Rebuild strategies give interest to offsetting negative consequences

of the crisis by stressing existing as well as past great works associated with the

organization. Adjusting details (expressing concern for victims) and

rebuild strategies tend to be probably the most effective ways to lessen the negative

effect in the crisis. Coombs recommends that bolstering strategies

should just be utilized as supplements for the primary strategies.

Benoit's Image Restoration Typology

Benoit's (1995) theory associated with image restoration continues to be used

extensively to evaluate firm responses for you to crisis scenarios (Benoit,

1995; Benoit & Brinson, 1994; Benoit & Czerwinski, 1997; Brinson

& Benoit, 1999). Based on Benoit & Czerwinski (1997) threats

to corporate image have a couple of components: 1) your accused will be held

responsible for an act along with 2) your act is actually portrayed as offensive.

Benoit's typology provides strategies with regard to addressing concerns of

responsibility and also decreasing the perceived offensiveness of the crisis

and consists of 5 image restoration strategies: 1) denial, or even refuting

that the company had any kind of portion inside the crisis, 2) evasion of

responsibility, the location where the firm attributes the particular crisis to always be able to actions of

another party, 3) lowering the offensiveness in the act, by which the

firm tries to create the crisis seem less threatening, 4) corrective

action occurs when the firm implements steps to solve the situation and

prevent a repeat site of the crisis, as well as 5) mortification, in which the firm

takes responsibility for the crisis and apologizes. Table 2 provides a

detailed summary of Benoit's 5 categories which include 14

communication strategies.

Denial can are available in 2 forms, among which can easily be straightforward denial, which

is an outright refutation that will the corporation had just about any component throughout the

crisis as well as ended up being responsible in virtually any way. The other kind associated with denial is

shifting the actual blame (also known as victimage), or asserting that someone

(or something) different is actually responsible for the problem. Denial may become the best

strategy when the firm will be truly blameless. In the actual event that the firm utilizes a denial

strategy and also later is located to have blame in the crisis, its reputation

can become irreparably damaged. When denial is not an appropriate strategy,

the organization can decide to evade responsibility through making use of 1 or even more

of 4 evasion of duty strategies. The initial is actually scapegoating,

which involves blaming the actual crisis about the provocation regarding another. Other

evasion strategies contain 1) defeasibility, where your organization

states it didn't know what to do or lacked the chance to act properly,

2) claiming the crisis ended up being accidental or, 3) maintaining which the

organization had good intentions as well as consequently needs for you to be exonerated.

Effective use associated with evasion strategies will minimize reputational damage to

the organization.

If a organization can't evade a new responsibility in which clearly exists, the

company can easily lessen the offensiveness of the act, which usually range from image

bolstering (puffery), minimization (the crisis isn't really bad),

differentiation (this crisis had been various through much more offensive crises),

transcendence (the excellent we do being an organization far outweighs the

damage carried out by simply this one crisis), reducing the credibility with the accuser

(also known as counter attack), and also victim compensation. Minimize the

offensiveness strategies can easily additionally reduce the actual injury to the

organization's reputation if used appropriately.

Corrective action will be Benoit's (1995, 1997) fourth strategy in

which the business tries to make amends for the wrong in which was

committed along with will take measures in order to prevent the large event through reoccurring.

Corrective motion may always be the most viable strategy as the firm addresses

the way to always be able to obtain the particular problem, explains how changes will remove future

occurrences of the problem, along with implements a new remediation plan. When

corrective action can be used, management accepts its responsibility to

eliminate problems just before they're able to outcome in a crisis. The Actual final

strategy proposed by simply Benoit can be mortification, where the actual organization

admits it had been with fault and apologizes for the victims.

Crisis communication literature typically targets what

corporations do after getting a crisis. Image restoration models additionally provide

firms together with choices accessible inside messages to appropriately react to

crisis situations. Within additional words, "... the actual protection involving a

corporation's image must match the particular attack" (Benoit &

Czerwinski, 1997, p. 45). Throughout order in order to measure the effectiveness associated with a

response or perhaps defense, Benoit & Czerwinski (1997) suggest any framework

that consists associated with three questions. First, did the business select

strategies appropriate to the crisis? Your 2nd question is would the

spokesperson embed strategies suitable for the discourse? Perhaps if the

chosen strategy was appropriate, the way what it's almost all about is conveyed may not

be. Finally, ended up being the response persuasive?

Discussion in the Coombs (2007) and also Benoit (1995) theories leads to

the following research questions:

RQ1: What communication strategies would Citigroup use for you to reply to

crisis events based on Coombs SCCT (2007) and also Benoit Image

Restoration Typology (1995) frameworks?

RQ 2: Would Citi successfully use these communication strategies in

response about bat roosting crisis events for you to maintain or even restore its image

according for you to Coombs SCCT (2007) and the Benoit and also Czerwinski (1997)

framework?

RQ3: Will Be the assessment regarding the potency of communication

strategies steady between the Coombs (2007) and Benoit &

Czerwinski (1997) frameworks?

DATA AND METHODOLOGY

In the subsequent section we analyze Citigroup's responses to

its monetary crisis. We make use regarding a critical analysis method to study

communication strategies employed simply by Citigroup and its management to

attempt to fix its tarnished image. According to Fairclough (2003),

critical analysis generally proceeds from your description and analysis

of what would always be the results in the text (or other communication) to a interpretation

and explanation of these findings inside relation to the context throughout which

the communication occurs. Adolphus (n.d.) indicates that discourse

analysis within qualitative study has become much more well-known within current years

and is used inside a wide array of fields.

We evaluate excerpts through media stories, press releases, and

advertisements and we carefully analyze the actual language employed through the company

to react to negative events. The selection of types of texts get been

evaluated making use of critical analysis, including speeches, advertising,

newspaper articles, and also advertising announcements (Benoit, 2006;

Benoit & Czerwinski, 1997; Benoit & Henson, 2009; Blaney, et

al., 2002; Coombs, 1995; Hearit, 1995; Seeger, et al. 2003).

The next section contains excerpts through content articles in the New

York Times, the actual Wall Street Journal, Company Week, Industry Watch, and

MSNBC. Excerpts had been analyzed utilizing Coombs (2007) as well as Benoit (1995)

typologies. Citi's reaction strategies had been furthermore evaluated to

assess his or her appropriateness along with effectiveness according to Coombs'

(2007) factors that will shape reputational threat and also Benoit &

Czerwinski's (1997) framework pertaining to identifying response

effectiveness.

EXAMPLES OF COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES--CITIGROUP

The subsequent section contains excerpts from press releases and other

documents that will detail events leading approximately along with such as the particular government

bailout regarding Citigroup. These types of excerpts are grouped according towards the stage

of crisis the business faced. We evaluate every excerpt according to type

of reaction strategy (Coombs, 2007; Benoit, 1995) as well as the effectiveness

of the particular strategy because regarding the Coombs' (2007) and Benoit &

Czerwinski's (1997) frameworks.

Factors Influencing Reputational Threat

Before we can analyze Citigroup's responses according to

Coombs' (2007) SCCT, we must determine the particular factors that will shape the

reputational threat. The initial element will be initial crisis responsibility,

or how much stakeholders believe organizational actions caused the

crisis. Within many crisis situations, it may always be relatively straightforward

to decide the attribution involving crisis duty making use of Coombs'

clusters (victim, accidental, or even preventable). Nevertheless within Citi's

case, this attribution is significantly more difficult since the Citi crisis was

part regarding the larger banking/financial crisis within the U.S. So, crisis

attribution to the business will be partially related to attribution to be able to the

industry. Within the situation involving Citi, the particular reputational threat based on

attribution associated with crisis duty will be minimal in order to high depending upon the

stage with the crisis. Throughout the particular early stage in the crisis, the

reputational threat ended up being relatively mild simply because no much less than several of

Citi's problems were associated with all the U.S. banking crisis and

weak regulatory oversight. Coombs classifies this as malevolence (victim

cluster), where external agents (in this case the actual economy and

regulators) trigger damage. Since the actual crisis unfolded, the actual reputational

threat became reasonable (accidental cluster) for you to severe (preventable

cluster) when stakeholders began in order to see that the company had been

engaged in dangerous actions and also had been guilty of lax danger management

policies, which in turn led to higher attribution later inside the crisis period.

The 2nd ingredient that designs reputational threat is crisis

history, as well as if the organization features experienced similar crises inside the

past. Though Citi hadn't experienced the crisis associated with this magnitude inside the

past, the organization had completed economic dealings together with Enron, was

involved in several lawsuits involving misleading information and

inadequate disclosures throughout its securities dealings, as well as ended up being sanctioned by

the Federal Reserve pertaining to its non-cohesive corporate construction and

inappropriate danger management actions (Dash & Creswell, 2008).

This history supplies a minimal to reasonable reputational threat.

Finally, inside relation to prior relational reputation, Citi's

reputational threat was neutral to positive based on Coombs (2007).

Citi enjoyed the trustworthiness of substantial earnings and also strong stock value prior

to the actual financial crisis.

Early Crisis Excerpts

Early crisis excerpts begin in 2005 and also end early throughout 2008 before

Citi's problems began being widely reported within the media. Table 3

provides a new comparison in between Coombs (2007) and Benoit (1995) strategies

and any dialogue of the potency of your strategies according to

Coombs (2007) and also Benoit & Czerwinski (1997).

Excerpt 1

In December 2005, when Citi first commenced creating CDOs

(collateralized financial debt obligations), then CEO Charles O. Prince, III

assured analysts that will "Anything based on human endeavor and

certainly any business that involves risk-taking, you are usually going to

have problems through time for you to time ... we will run our business in the way

where our credibility as well as our reputation as an institution along with the

public along with together with our regulators is likely to be a great point associated with the organization and not a

liability" (Dash & Creswell, 2008).

Excerpt 2

In late summer 2007, right after credit rating markets began to tighten up and

values of Citi's Collateralized Credit Card Debt Obligations (CDOs) began to

plummet, Citigroup held any meeting for you to review its danger exposure. Within this

meeting, risk managers claimed the mortgage-related securities held

by Citigroup were "viewed from the ranking agencies to possess an

extremely reduced probability associated with default (less than 0.01%)" (Dash &

Creswell, 2008). From exactly your same time, a new Citi danger manager has been quoted as

saying that the lender "would in simply no way lose the penny" (Dash &

Creswell, 2008).

Excerpt 3

Early in 2008, Federal Reserve examiners provided the review of the

company's danger management practices that was very critical of

its policies and procedures. Inside response, Citi overhauled its risk

management operate by simply improving oversight and also adding new risk managers.

Citi's new chief risk officer indicated which he desired to ensure

"that Citi requires your lessons learned through current events and also makes

critical enhancements for you to its danger management frameworks. A New alter in

culture is needed from Citi" (Dash & Creswell, 2008).

Crisis Excerpts

This section contains excerpts coming from November, 2008, when

Citi's problems were one with the most severe as well as the threat in order to its

reputation ended up being really high. the organization had been inside a situation for you to lay off

workers as well as several members regarding its management team had been becoming criticized

in the media. Table 4 supplies a comparison between Coombs (2007) and

Benoit (1995) strategies plus a dialogue associated with the power of the

strategies according to Coombs (2007) as well as Benoit & Czerwinski

(1997).

Excerpt 4

On November 11, 2008 Citi announced a new series of initiatives for you to help

at-risk borrowers remain present on the cash these people owe also to remain within their

homes. While addressing the initiatives, Sanjiv Das, CEO regarding Citimortgage

said, "In today's economic environment, Citi carries on to

build about its long-standing efforts in order to develop new ways to aid our

customers be in their particular homes. Since first involving 2007, these

efforts have helped approximately 370,000 homeowners we services avoid

foreclosure on their own homes. Beneath our new Citi Homeowners Assistance

program we will preemptively reach out to aid homeowners just before they

become delinquent, that is critical for you to avoiding the actual loss of a house and

protecting their particular credit history and also future borrowing potential"

(Citigroup, Press Release, November 11, 2008).

Excerpt 5

On November 14, 2008 an article about wsj.com stated which Citibank

planned to chop 10,000 jobs. An internal memo to Citi employees from the

Citi Board involving Directors quoted inside the article says that "The Board

of Directors and management are operating as you team completely aligned

on critical issues, opportunities, and the direction of the company....

We are generally confident that the direction our management team provides set is actually the

right direction--and the particular winning direction--for these extraordinary

times. Citi can be well positioned with regard to growth because involving its distinctive global

universal bank model, as well as since it features the best talent, the particular right

management, and the correct approach." the memo ended with the

statement "Keep the particular faith!" (wsj.com, November 14, 2008).

Excerpt 6

In exactly the particular same memo, your board defends its Chairman, Get Bischoff

(after a lot speculation inside the media that Mr. Bischoff would be

replaced) simply by stating "It is important for us to always be able to communicate along with you

(employees) straight throughout mild involving recent media coverage of our own company.

The news coverage concerning the Chairman in our Board ... can be irresponsible

and entirely inaccurate and that will we want you for you to definitely realize and also appreciate

our perspective about it." (wsj.com, November 14, 2008).

Excerpt 7

A new York times article in November 23, 2008 reported that

Citigroup analysts as well as insiders declared best management played

important roles in the bank's problems simply by "drafting and

blessing the strategy that will involved using higher trading risks to expand

its business and also reap higher profits." Management declined comment.

Paul Rubin, Chair of the Executive Committee, has been inquired regardless regarding whether he had

made virtually any mistakes in Citigroup. Inside reaction Rubin said, "I've

thought a fantastic deal regarding that. I honestly don't know. Inside hindsight,

there certainly are a lot of things we'd do differently. Yet in the context

of the particular facts as I knew them along with my role, I'm inclined in order to think

probably certainly not ... There's not any way you would know what was likely on with

the risk guide unless you're straight concerned with the trading

arena. We had highly experienced, highly qualified folks operating the

operation" (Dash & Creswell, 2008).

Excerpts after Agreement using Government

On November 24, 2008, the company reached a partnership using the

U.S. Treasury, your Federal Reserve Board, as well as the FDIC on the bailout

package that would recapitalize the lender and also prepare the company to

compete within the years ahead. Table 5 offers a comparison between Coombs

(2007) and Benoit (1995) strategies and a dialogue associated with the

effectiveness with the strategies based on Coombs (2007) as well as Benoit

& Czerwinski (1997).

Excerpt 8

In response towards the agreement with the Treasury, Fed, along with FDIC,

Vikram Pandit, Citi CEO, said "We tend to be dedicated to streamlining our

business and also providing outstanding banking services to our clients

around the particular world. We will always give interest to opportunities and

alternatives to further enhance the company's overall place and

value." (Citigroup, Press Release, November 24, 2008).

Excerpt 9

In an internal memo, sent out upon November 24, 2008, the morning

after the actual agreement along with regulators has been reached; CEO Pandit mentioned he

appreciated how difficult the speculation about Citi's fate ended up on

"clients, colleagues, enterprise partners, as well as shareholders. Despite

these challenges, just about all regarding you've distinguished yourselves within staying

focused upon serving customers ... Citi will be America's bank around the

world and also our power is viewed as any possible integral section of your overall

strength of the U.S. financial system. Tonight, we've taken an

important key to dramatically decrease our future danger exposure and

eliminate the lingering doubt within the market regarding Citi's financial

strength ... This is an innovative, market-based remedy which allows us

to obtain insurance from your Fed in order to restrict future risk"

(Hovanesian, 2008).

Excerpt 10

In November involving 2008, Citi began a group of newspaper ads throughout major

metropolitan markets designed to talk about with its consumers that it is business

was fundamentally sound. The Particular advert inside the new York times in Sunday,

November 23 said "This year, our monetary markets happen in order to be tested

in unprecedented ways. And Also even though your global landscape provides become

increasingly complex, something has remained consistent: Citi's

commitment for you to helping our customers as well as consumers find solutions in which will

drive his or her financial success. That's why we're diversified

across an extensive selection of markets along with companies within over one hundred countries.

Why we're streamlining our operations. Along With why we're utilizing our

global presence, knowledge, and also expertise, together with almost 200 years

of experience, to rise towards the challenges and also just take advantage of new

opportunities. That's why 200 million folks round the globe have

put their have confidence in throughout Citi to adopt manage and secure their particular futures. And

why we're providing them remedies like risk-free personal savings products,

unparalleled monetary guidance, charge cards which give you money back

and the particular Citi Homeowner Help plan that'll enable half a

million Americans to produce their payments along with stay inside their homes.

That's why now, more than ever, a person can seem in order to be positive that Citi

never sleeps" (Citi speaks ..., 2008).

Summary associated with Analysis involving response Strategies and also Effectiveness

We analyzed ten excerpts via media stories, press releases, and

advertisements for that period 2005-2008 that will illustrate Citi's use

of communication strategies in response to the financial crisis.

In reaction to always be able to RQ 1: What communication strategies would Citigroup

use to always be able to reply for you to crisis events in accordance with Coombs (2007) and Benoit

(1995) typologies, we find that Citi used bolstering strategies most

often to react for you to events that will threatened its image. Bolstering was

used many extensively during the crisis time period and also immediately following

the government bailout. Any time firms use bolstering strategies, they

attempt to construct their own images by simply telling stakeholders concerning past and

current good functions (Coombs, 2007) and use other forms associated with puffery to

reduce the particular offensiveness of the crisis (Benoit, 1995). These bolstering

strategies were utilised nearly all often inside combination using some other strategies,

which can be constant along with outcomes associated with Kim, et al. (2009). Citi began using

corrective motion strategies following criticism from your Federal

Reserve regarding its danger management policies and also processes (Excerpt

3). Citi employed corrective motion strategies inside its responses exactly where the

company attempted to make amends for your incorrect that was dedicated and also took

steps to avoid recurrence associated with the wedding (Coombs, 2007 as well as Benoit,

1995). Stakeholders tend to be many involved by simply how the crisis affects them

and through making use of corrective action strategies the business communicates what

actions it takes to always be able to protect stakeholders from future harm. Dardis and

Haigh (2009) indicate that there can be certainly zero dependence on companies for you to employ

overly accommodative strategies; these that are slightly less

accommodative are just as successful and also in many cases are much less costly. The idea is

best in the wedding the organization admits fault, but focuses on lowering the severity

of the crisis. Citi's responses had been steady with this notion

and relied about relational status to end up being able to keep up with the company's

image. Table six supplies a review of the actual company's responses

according to Coombs along with Benoit models.

In reaction for you to RQ 2: did Citi efficiently use these communication

strategies responding to those crisis events for you to maintain or even restore its

image based on Coombs SCCT (2007) and additionally the Benoit along with Czerwinski

framework (1997) we find that application associated with Coombs' SCCT indicates

that 5 in the ten Citi communications were efficient provided the

attribution involving crisis duty and the stage of the crisis

(cluster) in the time of your communication. Throughout three of the five

ineffective communications, Citi employed strategies that were inappropriate

to your crisis attribution and also within the other a couple of the company used

ineffective combinations associated with strategies. for example, when attribution of

the crisis had been high, Citi did not express much concern regarding its employees

and offer and also apology, it instead attacked your media regarding their particular reporting

of your crisis.

Results in the analysis using Benoit's Image Restoration

Typology indicate that will 5 with the ten communications were effective.

Three ineffective responses contained suitable strategies, nevertheless the

strategies were used incorrectly or perhaps are not communicated properly. Citi

used incorrect responses in the some other a couple of ineffective communications. In

one instance, the business spokesperson refused for you to comment upon management

strategies, that tends to become able to alienate these receiving the particular message.

In response in order to RQ 3: Is Actually the particular assessment with the effectiveness of

communication strategies consistent between the Coombs (2007) along with Benoit

& Czerwinski (1997) frameworks, we find that the particular overall

effectiveness with the strategies had been consistent involving the models. An

exception will be Excerpt 2, in which in turn the use of deny strategies had been effective

according for you to Coombs since there was low attribution regarding crisis along with the

company attemptedto distance itself in the crisis. However, this type of

strategy was not effective utilizing the actual Benoit and Czerwinski framework

because your statements are not well-informed as well as credible. Also, there

were some distinctions inside individual responses inside the communications.

For example, in Excerpt 10, Citi utilized a scapegoating strategy when it

placed responsibility for Citi's problems on the complex economic

environment. According to Coombs, a deny strategy is inappropriate inside a

high attribution crisis stage along with that will utilizing deny strategies in

combination using both diminish as well as rebuild strategies reduces the

effectiveness with the response. Throughout Benoit's framework, scapegoating

is an evasion involving responsibility strategy which is employed appropriately inside the

advertisement and is stated within an appropriate and persuasive manner.

CONCLUSIONS AND SUMMARY

This paper illustrates the utilization associated with communication theory as well as image

restoration strategies by method of a bank facing the crisis situation. Any time a

crisis occurs, the firm's popularity could be adversely affected.

Corporate responses about bat roosting situations are generally critical within determining

what, if any, permanent damage is done towards the firm's image. Crisis

management and response are specially essential in the banking

industry since of the large quantity of bank failures along with the

deteriorating state of the economic industry. It is critical that

banking firms use effective ways of reply about bat roosting crisis

situations simply because of the banking industry's role within maintaining

financial along with economic stability. Analysis regarding Citibank's responses

to the actual banking crisis utilizing Coombs (2007) along with Benoit (1995) frameworks

provides guidelines for banks concerning proper and also effective

crisis communication strategies to make use of in your course of distinct stages involving a

crisis.

One limitation of this research is often that any single bank, Citi, had been the

basis with regard to analyzing responses towards the banking crisis; however, as Carroll

(2009, p. 67) writes," Newer case studies need to become researched, so

that a new deeper comprehension of the dynamics as well as nuances associated with communicating

during a crisis may be obtained." An Additional achievable limitation is

that financial crises could cry for various strategies when compared with other types

of crises that, for example, bring about physical harm to others. Again,

further case studies of financial crises will undoubtedly address this

possible limitation. Inside addition, some other crisis communication models such

as Huang & Su (2008) could probably be accustomed to analyze the particular effectiveness of

crisis communication.

Future research could extend the particular comparison between Coombs (2007)

and Benoit (1995) to analyze other banks that faced comparable crises

during this same period period for you to determine if those organizations used

similar strategies and also if the firms had been productive within their image

restoration attempts. Throughout addition, a new study regarding the various sectors of the

banking industry could offer details regarding the communication

strategies those organizations used to repair a new tarnished image. For

example, all image restoration strategies in which bank regulators used to

answer media questions could be analyzed to determine if the same

patterns emerged. Also, additional forms of organizations along with industries

could be studied to become able to figure out when the communication patterns are

different than those with the banking industry.

A study of bank industry and also government (regulator) reputations and

their responses to their roles in the banking crisis, could provide an

interesting complement to end up being able to studies of individual firms. Winn, et al.

(2008, pp. 36-37) define market status as "the collective

judgments of an market simply by stakeholders as well as the general public, where

the judgment is according to assessments with the economic, social and

environmental impacts attributed compared to be able to that business over time." An

industry may endure collective status management, which usually refers to

"all actions as well as behavior undertaken by simply members involving the

collective for you to deliberately alter judgments about the trustworthiness of the

collective" (Winn, et al., 2008, p. 37). Regulators (the

government) play a role inside business reputation management through attempting

to allay stockholder concerns concerning the viability in the banking

industry and the economic system (Winn, et al., 2008).

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Marsha Weber, Minnesota State University Or College Moorhead

Sheri L. Erickson, Minnesota State university Moorhead

Mary Stone, Minnesota State College Moorhead



Table 1: Coombs (2007) Situational Crisis Communication Theory



Category Strategy Subdimension



Initial Strategies



Adjust information 1. Corrective motion 1. What is actually becoming completed to

protect from future

crises



2. Express concern 2. Expected by

pertaining to victim stakeholders, nevertheless not

admission associated with guilt



Primary Strategies



Deny 3. Attack the accuser 3. Confronting the actual person

or even team claiming

something is wrong with

the particular organization



4. Denial 4. Asserting that there

is certainly not any crisis



5. Scapegoat 5. Blaming person or

team outside the

organization pertaining to the

crisis



Diminish 6. Excuse 6. Minimizing

responsibility through denying

intent to accomplish hurt and/or

claiming inability to

control the events that

triggered the particular crisis



7. Justification 7. Minimizing the

perceived damage caused

through the crisis



Rebuild 8. Compensation 8. offering funds or

various other gifts for you to victims



9. Apology 9. Indicating the

organization takes full

duty and also asks

with regard to forgiveness



Secondary Strategies



Bolstering 10. Reminder 10. Telling stakeholders

concerning past and current

excellent works associated with the

organization



11. Ingratiation 11. Praising stakeholders

and/or reminding them of

past and also existing good

works through the organization



12. Victimage 12. Reminding stakeholders

that will the business is

any victim too



Source: Coombs, 2007



Table 2: Benoit's (1995) Image Restoration Typology



Category Strategy Subdimension



Denial 1. Straightforward denial 1. Refuting outright that

the business had any

part inside the event



2. Shifting the blame 2. Asserting that someone

in addition will be responsible



3. Scapegoating 3. Blaming the wedding on

the particular provocation regarding another



Evasion associated with 4. Defeasibility 4. Not Necessarily knowing what to do;

responsibility lacking knowledge to act

properly



5. Accident 5. Claiming the particular event

had been "accidental"



6. Excellent intentions 6. Claiming the company

had excellent intentions



7. Image bolstering 7. using puffery for you to build

image



8. Minimization 8. Stating the actual crisis is

not really bad



9. Differentiation 9. Indicating that will this

crisis is different from

a lot more offensive crises



Reducing the particular 10. Transcendence 10. Asserting excellent acts

offensive act way outweigh the particular damage

regarding this one crisis



11. Decreasing the actual 11. Keeping the

credibility accuser lacks credibility



12. Compensation 12. Having to Pay the particular victim;

generating restitution for you to set

things to where these people were

prior to the event



Taking corrective 13. Corrective action 13. Using measures to

action prevent event from

reoccurring



Mortification 14. Mortification 14. Admitting guilt and

apologizing



Source: Benoit, 1995; Erickson, et al., 2010



Table 3: Analysis associated with Early Crisis Reaction Strategies



Coombs

Excerpt response Strategy Benoit Strategy



1 Diminish Diminish- Decrease Offensiveness--

significance involving risk Justification Minimization

connected with

CDOs.



1 The Actual organization will Bolstering- Minimize Offensiveness--

manage danger Reminder Image bolstering

appropriately to

maintain its

reputation.



2 Absolutely No crisis since Deny-Denial Denial-Denial Reducing

the probability of Offensiveness--

default around the Minimization

CDOs had been very

minimal.



2 the bank will not Deny-Denial Denial-Denial

shed just about any money.



3 company admits Adjusting Corrective action

that it is risk information--

management Corrective

procedures are not action

effective and

will take motion to

right the

issue as well as to

prevent it from

reoccurring.



Excerpt General Effectiveness



1 Coombs: No, given the reduced attribution regarding crisis at this

stage, there is certainly no want for that use of a diminish strategy

(justification). Bolster is effective when utilized to develop on

an optimistic relationship with shareholders.



Benoit: No, the decision associated with minimization along with bolstering

strategies is acceptable if there will be a accurate crisis, yet at

this stage, there is no dependence on minimization or perhaps bolstering

if your correct crisis doesn't exist. the organization did not address

your fundamental problems with undertaking high risk

activities.



2 Coombs: Yes, deny strategies are generally appropriate during a low

attribution stage such as this, the organization attempted to distance

itself from the crisis (still inside the victim cluster). If

stakeholders accept your response, the company will not

suffer reputational harm.



Benoit: No, the option associated with denial as well as minimization strategies

will be appropriate, but the statements produced were not well-

informed, credible, or perhaps persuasive. Your statements made were

very good and also are merely effective if the firm will be truly

blameless.



3 Coombs: Yes, your accommodative nature with the reaction is

efficient given the higher level of attribution right after Fed

admonishment. Citi moved to the accidental or even preventable

cluster as regarding this point. Citi provides information concerning

what is being done to avoid future danger management

problems.



Benoit: Yes, the organization admits its policies are not

appropriate along with takes persuasive and believable corrective

action in order to remedy the problem.



Table 4: Analysis regarding Crisis Reaction Strategies



Excerpt Reaction Coombs Strategy Benoit Strategy



4 Citi really desires to Bolster--Reminder Reduce

build about Offensiveness--

long-standing Image bolstering

efforts in order to develop

new approaches to help

customers.



4 Citi will reach Adjusting Corrective Action

out for you to consumers information--

prior to they will grow to become able to be Express concern

delinquent. with regard to victim



4 Blaming your Deny--Scapegoat Denial--Shift blame

economic

environment for

your crisis.



4 The Actual initiatives Rebuild-- Corrective Action

supply ways for Compensation

clients to

return to

pre-crisis status.



5 Citi states it has Bolstering-- reduce Offensiveness

the proper talent, Reminder --Image bolstering

the right

management, and

the particular right

approach.



5 Business insinuates Bolstering-- reduce Offensiveness

that its good acts Reminder --Transcendence

outweigh the

damage associated with the

crisis.



6 Calling your media Deny--Attack the Minimize Offensiveness

irresponsible along with accuser --Reduce credibility

inaccurate.



6 Expressing concern Adjusting Minimize Offensiveness

pertaining to employees. information-- --Image bolstering

Express concern

with regard to victims



7 Mr. Rubin Diminish--Excuse Evasion of

indicates that he Responsibility--

lacked the Defeasibility

details for you to act

properly.



7 Mr. Rubin speaks Bolstering-- Reducing

in the highly Reminder Offensiveness--

experienced, Image bolstering

qualified people

operating the

operation and

insinuates that,

simply because these

everyone was in

charge, there was

pointless to

issue what they

had been doing.



Excerpt General Effectiveness



4 Coombs: Yes, the particular strategies are generally proper with regard to higher

attribution associated with crisis and bolster strategies are usually effective

throughout the accidental cluster. Because strategies become more

accommodative stakeholders perceive the organization as

using higher responsibility for your crisis.



Benoit: Yes, the company takes motion in order to right it problems

as well as makes use of bolstering and denial ways to reinforce the

corrective action, a new mix of strategies called

separation, the sort regarding corrective motion response. The

company sends any persuasive message which it is creating amends

for its ineffective policies.



5 Coombs: No, the bolster strategy is acceptable within high

attribution situations, however should be found in combination

with various other strategies. The Actual business needs in order to have expressed

concern for its employees and offered an apology (rebuild

strategy) given the high level of attribution.



Benoit: No, the employment associated with decrease offensiveness strategies is

appropriate, nevertheless this was not necessarily embedded correctly since it

specific the incorrect audience. The a lot more effective strategy when

a new firm offers to lay off a big variety of workers would be

among compensation (reducing offensiveness) and/or

mortification.



6 Coombs: No, the organization expressed several concern for

employees, however attacking the accuser (media) can be not

proper inside a higher attribution stage. Alienating the

media could potentially affect long term media coverage. The

spokesperson expressed concern regarding employees (adjusting

information), that is inconsistent using the deny strategy.



Benoit: No, attacking the actual accuser is only proper if the

business is blameless, which could be not necessarily correct on this case. The

expression of interest pertaining to employees ended up being accustomed to protect Mr.

Bischoff. The idea is hazardous for you to question the credibility regarding the

media to be able for you to bolster the actual image associated with the organization and/or

its management.



7 Coombs: No, rich in crisis attribution (preventable

cluster), diminish strategies are not appropriate. Bolster

strategies could construct about stakeholder goodwill nevertheless have got a

minimal effect about reputation. lack of remark may lead

stakeholders in order to think the company is not getting truthful.



Benoit: No, your mixture of responses, including refusing

in order to remark when asked regarding poor management strategies, is

not efficient in managing your company's image. The

inconsistent message is not appropriate, nor does the

spokesperson relay what it's almost all about persuasively.



Table 5: Analysis regarding Post-Agreement Strategies



Excerpt Reaction Coombs Strategy Benoit Strategy



8 The Actual company is Adjusting Corrective action

doing it to information--

enhance the Corrective action

company's value.



8 Citi continues to Bolstering-- Reducing

concentrate on Reminder Offensiveness--

alternatives and Image bolstering

opportunities.



9 The Actual company has Adjusting Corrective action

taken action to information--

improve long term Corrective action

performance.



9 Spokesperson Bolstering-- Reducing

stresses the actual role Reminder Offensiveness--

associated with Citi in the Image bolstering

global economy and

its integral part

of the U.S.

monetary system.



9 The Actual organization adjust N/A

realizes how information--

difficult the actual Express concern

crisis continues to be with regard to victims

with regard to stakeholders.



9 Employees have got Rebuild-- N/A

distinguished Ingratiation

by themselves with

his or her emphasis on

serving customers.



10 the global Deny--Scapegoat Evasion of

landscape provides Responsibility--

turn out to always be able to be Scapegoating

increasingly

complex.



10 Citi's commitment Bolstering-- Reducing

to be able to helping customers Reminder Offensiveness-

as well as customers find Image bolstering

options that

will drive their

economic success,

business refers to

200 years of

experience.



10 Your business offers Adjusting Corrective action

diversified and also information--

streamlined Corrective action

operations.



10 Provide new Rebuild-- Corrective action

products, solutions compensation

along with Homeowner

Guidance Plan.



Excerpt General Effectiveness



8 Coombs: Yes, Mr. Pandit presents an optimistic image regarding the

company and reminds stakeholders regarding past efforts for you to enhance

firm value. The Actual company used successful ways of reduce

attribution and enhance relational reputation.



Benoit: Yes, the organization clearly requires motion to maneuver on

following your bailout. Mr. Pandit communicates the actual company's

promises to carry on its focus on enhancing the actual company's

situation inside the global economy. The Actual communication is

appropriate, well stated, along with persuasive.



9 Coombs: Yes, Mr. Pandit assures internal stakeholders that

the organization will be strong as well as thanks all of them pertaining to their particular focus on

clients. He furthermore suggests that the company has taken steps

to lessen future risk exposure. The Particular communication reduces

attribution regarding crisis duty along with effectively

communicates the actual company's concern for stakeholders



Benoit: Yes, your communication reinforces the particular previous

communication and persuasively reassures employees that will the

company is focusing on his or her well-being along with that the company

will carry on to become viable in the future.



10 Coombs: Yes, the company efficiently uses a mixture of

bolster along with rebuild strategies. Rebuild strategies are generally best

useful for crises that existing severe reputational threat. The

scapegoat strategy isn't suitable in the high

attribution stage, but overall the communication is

effective. the firm indicates it has taken actions in order to repair

its image.



Benoit: Yes, the particular ad utilizes appropriate, well-framed strategies

to rebuild the actual company's reputation and to indicate to

stakeholders which the business is following through for you to prevent

future crisis. This is persuasive throughout its message involving commitment

in order to customers.



Table 6: Summary involving Citi's Reaction Strategies



Coombs category Range involving responses



Adjust Info 7

Deny 5

Diminish 2

Rebuild 3

Bolster 8



Benoit's Class number involving Responses



Denial 3

Reduce Offensiveness of the Act 12

Evasion associated with responsibility 2

Corrective Motion 6

Mortification 0

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