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Dr. Branford McAllister


Businesses use social media to promote services and products as well as connect with current and potential customers. The purpose of this qualitative, multiple case study was to explore and understand the strategies that effectively remedy negative social media comments, the skills used to employ remedial actions, the reasons why organizations fail to develop effective strategies, and the motivations to develop them among the participants and their organizations. The conceptual framework of this study combined elements from the skills approach to leadership and e-leadership theory. The target population included news directors, assignment managers, and executive producers who have used social media for 1 year or more to increase news channel ratings. Data collection included semistructured interviews with a sample of 20. The data analysis process involved cross-case thematic analysis. The findings indicated that social media positively influenced organizational reputations through building the brand and reaching a bigger audience. The main factor that prevents news organizations from developing effective social media strategies was the lack of resources to organize effectively a specialized social media team. A dominant theme was the dilemma whether to respond to a negative comment or to ignore and delete it. Among the leadership skills that help in combating negative social media posts, the research participants identified communication skills, professionalism, creativity, and understanding as the most useful. This study contributes to positive social change by explaining the strategies and constraints within news organizations while dealing with negative social media.

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