Value changes and the rapid emergence of media innovations (internet, social web) in society lead to an institutionalization of crisis communication, in which especially new media play a crucial role. The key contributions of the paper include deepening and refocusing the theoretical foundations of crisis communication by experimentally analyzing the effects of traditional and social-media strategies on the recipients' perceptions of reputation; and by analyzing the effects or crisis responses on the recipients' secondary crisis communications (e.g., sharing information and leaving a message) and reactions (e.g., willingness to boycott). The results indicated that the medium matters more than the message. For all three dependent measures - reputation, secondary crisis communication and reactions - main effects of medium occurred, whereas the message had only a significant main effect on secondary crisis reactions. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.