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Saying ‘sorry’ : Corporate apologies posted on Twitter

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journal contribution
posted on 03.02.2014, 14:39 by Ruth Page
Twitter offers companies an influential environment in which to enhance their reputation and build rapport with existing and potential clients. One important aspect of the emerging customer care discourse is the apologies made by companies via Twitter in response to customer complaints. The analysis focuses on 1183 apologies, and considers their distinctive components (the Illocutionary Force Indicating Device, Explanations, Offers of Repair (Blum-Kulka et al., 1989)) and their rapport building potential (as indicated through opening and closing moves, such as greetings, nominations, discourse markers and emoticons) as a form of image repair (Benoit, 1995) shaped by the media affordances of Twitter (Hutchby, 2001). Corporate apologies are distinctive for their relatively infrequent use of Explanations (as a form of mitigation) and their comparatively greater use of Offers of Repair (as a type of corrective action), which are typically combined with follow up moves such as imperatives and questions. They are also distinctive in their repeated, somewhat formulaic use of greetings and signatures which did not appear in the apologies posted by ordinary Twitter members.

History

Citation

Journal of Pragmatics, 2014, 62, pp. 30-45

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND LAW/School of English

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Journal of Pragmatics

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

0378-2166

eissn

1879-1387

Copyright date

2014

Available date

03/02/2014

Publisher version

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378216613003317

Notes

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Pragmatics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Pragmatics, 2014, 62, pp. 30-45 DOI# 10.1016/j.pragma.2013.12.003.

Language

en

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