Frozen Meat: A New Standard for COVID-19 Research

As a physician, I mostly read medical journals. I also occasionally read economics and psychology literature, usually because they are frequently cited in popular books for laypersons.

But I don’t normally read business or communications literature.

That is until I saw this paper about frozen meat company Steak-umm’s surprisingly awesome Twitter account:

The title of the paper is too good to ignore. Anytime you can employ the phrase “frozen meat” in a way that only might be ironic is a communications victory from my perspective.

To give you an example of what the content Steak-umm generated to become worthy of intense positive scrutiny:

and then…

From “Frozen Meat Against COVID-19 Misinformation: An Analysis of Steak-Umm and Positive Expectancy Violations“:

To examine another possible factor contributing to the success of Steakumm’s response to the pandemic, we analyze the case through the lens of expectancy violations theory (Burgoon & Jones, 1976), which predicts how individuals will respond when others communicate in unexpected ways. Although expectancy violations can be positive or negative depending on the situation, research has shown that positive expectancy violations resulting in positive communication appraisals and outcomes can happen when publics are pleasantly surprised by an entity’s communication (e.g., Yim, 2019).

Sometimes beautiful, sometimes terrible–but it’s always an interesting world we live in.

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