The murder of George Floyd and the wave of protests that followed it led many companies to feel they should issue statements of support for racial justice. But not all companies responded the same way.

Chicago Booth's Pradeep K. Chintagunta and his coauthors analyzed the emotionality of tweets about five different companies to see how their responses to the Black Lives Matter movement affected public sentiment. They find that the companies in their analysis ultimately wound up in a better position, in terms of the emotional content of tweets about them, but few of them succeeded on their first attempt at a response. To be positively received, the analysis suggests, corporate responses to social issues need to include a significant commitment to the cause.

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