Here’s how the study worked, according to a University of Missouri press release:
“One group read an ‘anger-frame’ story that blamed the organization for the crisis. Another group read a ‘sadness-frame’ story that focused on the victims and how they were hurt by the crisis. Cameron and Kim found that those who read the ‘anger-frame’ story read the news less closely and had more negative attitudes toward the company than those exposed to the ‘sadness-frame’ story.
The study showed that corporate crisis responses that focus on victims’ wellbeing tend to improve public perception. A message that focuses on “the law, justice, and punishment” is not as well received.