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    ‘To trust or not to trust’: the impact of social media influencers on the reputation of corporate brands in crisis

    Crisafulli, Benedetta and Singh, J. and Quamina, L. T. and Xue, M. (2020) ‘To trust or not to trust’: the impact of social media influencers on the reputation of corporate brands in crisis. Journal of Business Research , ISSN 0148-2963. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Corporates often partner with social media influencers to bolster brand image after crises. Although existing evidence suggests that influencers have a largely positive effect on brands, yet there is paucity of research on the role of influencers in corporate crisis communications. Across two studies, we examine the impact of influencers on consumers’ perception of corporate brand in crisis. Drawing on persuasion knowledge theory, we identify pitfalls associated with influencers, such as inferences of manipulative intent, which negatively affect perceived trustworthiness and corporate reputation. The downside of engaging influencers in crisis communications can, however, be offset by influencer and the brand communicating values-driven motives of their partnership. Our findings imply that corporate brands should respond to crises through a bolstering strategy that promotes existing corporate goodwill, without influencer’s involvement. When leveraging on influencers’ support, however, brands should endeavor to inoculate manipulative inferences by communicating the values-driven motives behind the brand-influencer partnership.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Corporate reputation, Corporate brand crisis, Influencer marketing, Persuasion knowledge, Crisis communications, Experiment
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > BEI
    Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Management
    Depositing User: Benedetta Crisafulli
    Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2020 10:32
    Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 17:13
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/31499

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