Crisis Communication on Twitter: Lessons from the South East Queensland Floods
Crisis Communication on Twitter Enterprise Risk Management for Government 2012 Jean Burgess & Axel Bruns ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation Queensland University of Technology http://mappingonlinepublics.net
Crisis Communication Research at QUTo ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (national, based at QUT) o Project: Media Ecologies & Methodological Innovation o New methods to understand the changing media environment; o Role of social media, especially Twitter o Focus on Crisis Communication eg #qldfloods o Partnerships with government, media orgs (eg ARC Linkage with DCS, Eidos) http://cci.edu.au/floodsreport.pdf
#qldfloods study • Volume of tweets over time • @replies and retweets: key actors and their networks • URLs: key media resources, user-uploaded images and videos • Content analysis: themes and purposes over timeFlickr: Jono Haysom
Social Media during Crises• Various platforms: – Facebook, Twitter – updates and information – YouTube, Flickr, Twitpic – first-hand video and photos – Google Maps, Ushahidi – map-based information mashups Different tools for different purposes• Various levels of maturity: – Uses and use practices still developing – Different demographic reach• Technological differences: – e.g. Facebook: built around personal networks; semi-private; discussion threads – e.g. Twitter: open, flat network; public #hashtag conversations; update stream
Why Twitter?• Significant world-wide social network• ~200 million users (but how many active?) – ~2 million users in Australia• Varied range of uses: building out from intimate, everyday communication to public emergency coordination• Flat and open network structure: non-reciprocal following, public profiles by default• Hashtags as a flexible, ad hoc response mechanism• Good API for gathering data for research and operational use How can Twitter be used for crisis information and community resilience?
The Australian Twittersphere? Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = outdegree, size = indegree
Real Estate Jobs Property HRThematic Business Parenting Clusters Business Mums Craft Design Social Media Property Arts Web Creative Tech Food Perth PR Wine Marketing / PR Advertising IT Beer Tech Creative Social Design ICTs NGOs Fashion Utilities Farming Social Policy Beauty Services Agriculture Net Culture Adelaide Opinion Books Theatre Greens News Literature Film Arts Publishing ALP Hardline Progressives News @KRuddMP Conservatives @JuliaGillard Radio Conservatives TV Music Journalists Triple J Talkback Dance Breakfast TV Hip Hop Cycling Celebrities Union Evangelicals Swimming NRL V8s Football Teens Christians Cricket Teaching Hillsong AFL e-Learning Schools Jonas Bros. Beliebers
#qldfloods Follower/followee network: ~120,000 Australian Twitter users (of ~950,000 known accounts by early 2012) colour = #qldfloods tweets, size = indegree
#qldfloods Tweets10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
#qldfloods from Toowoomba to Brisbane10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
#qldfloods @mentions authorities mainstream media
Major Information Sources Remain Important@sunriseon7 @couriermail @612brisbane @QPSMedia @abcnews
QPS Media Case Study• With Kate Crawford, Frances Shaw (UNSW) – see full report at http://cci.edu.au/floodsreport.pdf• Manual thematic content analysis• Drawing on existing crisis communications literature• All #qldfloods tweets containing “@qpsmedia”• Baseline comparison: 5% of all #qldfloods tweets
RT @QPSmedia: Anyone living near Lockyer creek shouldIMMEDIATELY evacuate to higher ground #thebigwet #qldfloods
RT @QPSmedia: Please remember your elderly and infirm neighbours as this flooding crisis continues #thebigwet #qldfloods
RT @QPSmedia please stop sightseeing along Kingsford Smith Drive. Water rising quickly youll be strandedRT @QPSmedia: Do NOT spread rumours. The 2-hourly mediaconferences have correct info. Wivenhoe dam is ABSOLUTELY safe #QldFloods #TheBigWet
RT @couriermail: Unconfirmed reports Central Station inBrisbane closing at 2pm today. Advise to leave CBD. #qldfloodsRT @ibeau: All public transport in the CBD has been stopped #qldfloods #thebigwet
RT @QPSmedia: Flood myth buster #6: Brisbane CBD is NOT being evacuatedRT @QPSmedia: Flood myth buster #7: public transport is not closing down at 2pm in the Brisbane CBD
a gentle reminder that there are lots of speculation gettingaround twitter re #qldfloods @QPSmedia is def worth checking for accuracy In order to prevent mistruths and speculation follow @qpsmedia and @612brisbane #qldfloods
@QPSmedia Thank you for using twitter to keep everyone up to date. And for clearing up all the misinformation so quickly #qldfloods Follow @QPSmedia for correct and constant information. Especially for those directly affected. Doing a great job. #qldfloods
• QPSMedia embracing social media in a more sophisticated way (Twitter’s specific culture and norms, mythbusting tweets, playfulness, personalisation)• Legitimation of social media via „official‟ uptake• Further institutional change (tied to broader „Gov 2.0‟) initiatives etc• Push for better „trust‟ and „location-aware‟ systems...
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