Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 27 Issue 3 (September 2019), Pages 197-279

The face tells all: Testing the impact of physical attractiveness and social media information of spokesperson on message effectiveness during a crisis (pages 257-264)

Abstract This paper empirically examines the effects of organizational spokesperson's physical attractiveness and their social cues usage on message effectiveness. A 2 (physical attractiveness of spokesperson) × 2 (social cues) × 2 (crisis response strategy) mixed subject design was tested. The results show that spokespeople with high physical attractiveness as communicating more credible messages, being more expert sources, and as being more persuasive. Also, social cues of spokespeople have an influence on the participants’ perceived credibility and expertise while the interaction effects suggest that the effects of social cue override the effects of physical attractiveness. This indicates that crisis communication practitioners can use social cues to boost persuasiveness and/or message credibility of less attractive spokespeople. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

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