This study examines how different organizations involved in Storebæltsulykken, the tragic train crash on the Great Belt Bridge on January 2nd 2019, communicated externally throughout with a particular focus on DB Cargo. The organizations we have identified as being directly associated with the accident are: DSB, Carlsberg, Sund & Bælt, Banedanmark and DB Cargo. We have a pronounced focus on the latter, as the ongoing investigation currently is pointing towards them being in-part responsible for the accident, due to a malfunction on their freight train which collided with a passenger train. The empirical source of the study is the direct communications of the five organizations in the time between the moment of the accident and January 4th 2019, as well as an interview of Jan Wildau, Director of Communications at DB Cargo. Our analysis is split into two parts, of which an analysis of the timelines of the communications of the five organizations constitutes the first, and an analysis of the interview of Jan Wildau constitutes the second. Through the use of Lasswell’s model for communications as a framework for the first part of our analysis, we establish which messages the different organizations communicate, to whom they communicate and which channels they use. By examining these messages we establish which crisis communication strategies the different organizations have deployed. In the second part of our analysis, we use a narrative interview of Jan Wildau to examine whether or not the crisis communication of DB Cargo is anchored in crisis communication strategies, and which intentions may have motivated this. The study is based on theories of crisis communication by William L. Benoit and W. Timothy Coombs. It makes particular use of Coombs’ Situational Crisis Communication Theory and Benoit’s Image Restoration Strategies, with additional theoretical concepts of Coombs and others. In the first part of our analysis, we conclude that most of the organizations can be said to use strategies defined by Benoit and Coombs through different messages directed at their stakeholders, and through different media-channels. In the second part, we apply the empirical data of our interview to Coombs’ SCCT-model and explore the reasoning behind the strategies used. In the process, we uncover a possible extra element of successful crisis communication, which we choose to call The Personal Factor.
|Uddannelser||Kommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor|
|Udgivelsesdato||26 maj 2019|
- DB Cargo