“Frozen Meat Against COVID-19 Misinformation”

Scholars begin to try to make sense of the vexed year 2020, in this study:

Frozen Meat Against COVID-19 Misinformation: An Analysis of Steak-Umm and Positive Expectancy Violations,” Ekaterina Bogomoletc, Nicole M. Lee, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, epub 2020. (Thanks to Faye Flam for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at North Carolina State University and Arizona State University, explain:

“COVID-19 has forced many businesses to adjust their communication strategies to fit a new reality. One surprising example of this strategy adjustment came from the company Steak-umm, maker of frozen sliced beef. Instead of finding new ways to promote its products, the company shifted its focus to the public’s urgent needs, breaking down possible approaches to navigating information flow during the pandemic. This resulted in overwhelming praise on social and news media, including almost 60,000 new Twitter followers within a week. Drawing on expectancy violation theory, this case study examines Steak-umm’s strategy, the content of social media responses, and why the approach was successful.”