Publication Date

5-2006

Abstract

A study of the effects of reconstructive memory points the way to dealing with the damage to a business’s reputation that follows an instance of negative publicity. The study contradicts the commonly held myth that it is best to avoid communicating for a time and let consumers “forget” an unfortunate incident. Instead, given what is now known about reconstructive memory processes, the crisis situation can be used as a means to reestablish a relationship with consumers. This research investigation proposes that postcrisis communication efforts should be focused on emotionally connecting with consumers via autobiographical-referencing advertising. Moreover, although the study focuses on crisis management, the lessons of reconstructive memory can be applied to all phases of brand management.

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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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