Karen Freberg, Kris-n C. Graham, Kathleen G. Vidoloﬀ, & Gina Eosco
Researchers for Research Study • Karen Freberg, Ph.D. – University of Louisville • Major Kristin C. Graham – United States Military Academy at West Point • Kathleen G. Vidoloff, Ph.D. – Oregon Health Authority • Gina Eosco – Cornell University & American Meteorological Society (AMS)
OVERVIEW• Advances in social media have opened a world of opportunities for crisis communication and reputation management professionals.• Emerging technology communication platforms are transforming how risk and crisis communicators reach their audiences and partner agencies in emergencies and disasters.• Practitioners and reputation managers can develop and disseminate timely and consistent crisis messages across multiple social media platforms.
Social Media within Reputation & Crisis Management Practices “If communities depend on information for their survival in times of crisis, then communication technologies are their lifelines,” (“New technologies in emergencies and conflicts report,” 2010, p. 4).• Emerging technologies have allowed people to feel they have more control over the crisis as well as more connection to the community (Shklovski, Burke, Kiesler, & Kraut, 2010).• The speed of information sharing and the organic creation of viral key terms and hashtags create new challenges for risk and crisis communicators handling uncertainty and credibility issues in reputation management practices.
Purpose of Research"I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, take precautions now. The federal government has spent the better part of last week working … to see to it that were prepared. All indications point to this being a historic hurricane." -‐ President Barack Obama, August 26, 2011 • Focuses on the social media analysis and modeling of Hurricane Irene, which impacted most of the East Coast of the United States in August 2011.• Determine what constitutes to have a “good” crisis message during a disaster or crisis situation, such as a natural disaster.
Justification of Research• Previous research within social media and crisis communications has yet to delve into what constitutes a “good” crisis messages. • For example, do emergency messages need to have a hashtag and a photo? • What if an emergency message only has a link? • How effective are emergency messages that have a personal touch(e.g., use of text, voice, or video).RQ1: What are the main attributes constitutes what a “good” crisismessage appearing on social media?RQ2: What are the best practices to effectively communicate viasocial media in a crisis situation?
Method • A total of 2,157 updates were collected from August 22 to September 1, 2011 from the social media monitoring site Social Mention during the time Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast of the United States. – Data was collected and downloaded into CSV files for analysis twice a day at 8 am and 8 pm EST. • Scale items were incorporated into model based on previous crisis communication and social media literature • Integration of qualitative and quantitative value modeling techniques – A set of best practices and propose a simple baseline model for what comprises a “good” crisis message, using the collected Hurricane Irene data as a proof-of-concept model. Review of the Formulate Scale Qualita-ve Value Quan-ta-ve Value Best Academic Literature Items Model Model Prac-ces
Qualitative Value Model• Objectives are phrased in the form of a goal with a maximum or minimum value assigned to them that indicates the optimal result (Parnell et al., 2011).• A good qualitative value model is one that is “collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive,” meaning that it is as complete as possible without introducing redundancy.• Figure displays the overall functional hierarchy of the system with function, subfunctions, and qualitative value measures.
Quantitative Value ModelFunc;ons: Value ques;on Scale/Values: F01 Communicate Quickly Max comm speed VM01_1 Quick and honest response? High quality and quick 10 Medium quality and quick 5 Low quality and quick 2 High quality and slow Max value of comm VM01_2 Reporter present on ground during crisis? On site 10 At agency 8 Not local 5 Func;ons: Value ques;on F02 Be Credible Max credibility scale VM02_1 Internal or external crisis origin? Internal origin 10 External origin 8 VM02_2 ATribu;on of crisis responsibility? Good crisis responsibility response 10 Medium crisis resp. response 5 Bad crisis responsibility response 0 VM02_3 History of similar crises? No history 10 One event 8 Two events 6 Three or more events VM02_4 Level of consistency? High ra;ng 10 Medium ra;ng 5 Low ra;ng 0 VM02_5 Tradi;onal media outlet? News personality 7 News agency 8 Government agency 10 Other Func;ons: Value ques;on F03 Be Accurate Max accuracy scale VM03_1 Presence of topical keywords? 10+ words with references (hashtag) 10 5-‐9 words with references 8 1-‐4 words with references 5 No references VM03_2 Real ;me monitoring links, graphics etc? Link to updates + good graphic 10 Link to updates + graphic 8 Link to sta;c info + good graphic 7 Link only Func;ons: Value ques;on F04 Be Simple Max value of comm VM04_1 Conversa;onal/"real" voice? High conversa;onal ra;ng 10 Medium conversa;onal ra;ng 5 Low conversa;onal ra;ng 0 Func;ons: Value ques;on F05 Be Complete Max # of resources VM05_1 Info about safety given? Good info + link to updates 10 Info only 7 No info 0 VM05_2 Info about sources of relief? Good info + link to updates 10 Info only 7 No info 0 Link to facebook VM05_3 Secondary messages in diﬀerent medium? Link to video 8 Link to website 10 Link to TwiTer account 8 account VM05_4 Relevant response and rescue user data? High relevance 10 Medium relevance 5 Low relevance 0 Func;ons: Value ques;on F06 Communicate Broadly Max follow/RT VM06_1 Presence of hashtag? Yes 10 No 0 VM06_2 Presence of URL? Yes 10 No 0 VM06_3 Ability to forward message during crisis? TwiTer Retweet op;on 10 Facebook share op;on 10
Descriptive Statistics• Researchers took first 480 updates from Social Mention sample to analyze initial coding of the crisis messages.• The top expert mentions via Twitter included the following Twitter accounts: @breakingnews (N=39), @cfnews13 (N=37), and @atlanticwatch (N=43).• Other statistics – 209 had embedded URLs – 262 had graphics – 22 had @ twitter references – 9 had hashtangs (#keyword)
ResultsRQ1: What are the main attributes constituteswhat a “good” crisis message appearing on socialmedia?• Several of the updates had hashtags associated with them that was related to the Hurricane Irene crisis• Majority had links associated with update (ex. photos, news articles, videos, etc)• Link that was most popular was to YouTube videos.• Messages concerning safety, confirmed information, and including credible Twitter usernames in crisis (ex. Weather Channel)
• RQ2: What are the best practices to effectively communicate via social media in a crisis situation? – Integrating multimedia and links into updates. – Proper use of hashtags and tagged keywords. – Coordinating efforts with relative parties and agencies in crisis with social media messages and hashtags. – Focus messages on self efficacy, safety, and provide additional resources of information – Communicate in a transparent manner and have a “real voice.” – Balance between official and conversational updates in crisis. – Provide updates educating how followers and others should communicate needs and questions to authorities (ex. Project EPIC and Tweak the Tweet application)
Discussion• Social media offers many benefits for organizations, including daily monitoring and crisis management both of which impact reputation management and issues management (Heath & Palenchar, 2009).• Inconsistency across agencies and news regarding the use of hashtags.• Use of Twitter and YouTube as primary references to crisis messages. – Breaking news and Visual components necessary for effective crisis messages• Understanding what constitutes as being a “good” crisis message• Further research needs to explore this across different platforms
Future Recommendations for Research &Practice• Implications for this research include guidelines for effective crisis communication and reputation management monitoring through social media platform.• Implications to tiers & sub categories for key terms within social media• Convergence of social media and mobile technologies in communicating during crisis.• Real-time implications for brand, individual, and corporate reputation via social media.
Questions or Comments? Thank you very much.Karen Freberg, Ph.D. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Professor Website: www.karenfreberg.com University of Louisville Blog: www.karenfreberg.com/blog TwiYer: @kfreberg Louisville, KY 40292