Ica shanghai presentation nov 13

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Social Media and its Impact on Crisis Communication: Case Studies of Twitter Use in Emergency Management in Australia and New Zealand

Paper presented to Communication and Social Transformation, ICA Regional Conference, Shanghai, China, 8-10 November 2013

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Ica shanghai presentation nov 13

  1. 1. Social Media and its Impact on Crisis Communication: Case Studies of Twitter Use in Emergency Management in Australia and New Zealand Paper presented to Communication and Social Transformation, ICA Regional Conference, Shanghai, China, 8-10 November 2013. Terry Flew, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Jean Burgess, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Kate Crawford, Microsoft Research, Cambridge, Mass., USA Frances Shaw, Department of Media and Communications, University of Sydney.
  2. 2. Social Media and Crisis Communication project • Project on social media and crisis communication with Queensland Department of Community Services and EIDOS Institute as partners • Funded through Australian Research Council LinkageProjects program • Project combines: – Large-scale quantitative social media tracking and analysis – Qualitative cultural analysis of communications strategies of organisations – Aim to enable both emergency management authorities and news media organisations to better use social media in crisis/emergency communication
  3. 3. Case studies January 2011 floods in Brisbane and South-East Queensland, Australia February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand
  4. 4. • “As social media becomes more a part of our daily lives, people are turning to it during emergencies as well. We need to utilize these tools, to the best of our abilities, to engage and inform the public, because no matter how much … officials do, we will only be successful if the public is brought in as part of the team.” Craig Fugate, Director, International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), 2010).
  5. 5. Key Issues with Social Media in Cries 1. Authority and trust: ability to deliver timely information that is reliable for affected populations – minimising misinformation 2. Coordination: maximising reach and effectiveness of messages to affected populations while avoiding duplication and mixed messages 3. How can emergency management and media work in effective combination?
  6. 6. Key Project Innovations 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Applying data mining and analysis techniques to an investigation of the uses of social media in crisis communication; Combining computer-aided quantitative techniques with in-depth qualitative analysis to examine communicative and community practices in ad hoc online publics formed around the shared experience of a natural disaster; Developing the tools for a near real-time tracking, analysis, and visualisation of public communication about unfolding disaster events in social media spaces; Establishing detailed comparative metrics to provide a clear understanding of social media uses in different emergency contexts; Working with emergency management organisations to develop, implement, and evaluate, through an iterative process, advanced strategies for the use of social media by emergency and media organisations during natural disasters.
  7. 7. Brisbane floods and Twitter • Why Twitter? 1. 2. 3. 4. Simple network structure Public/private only (different to Facebook) Ability to „listen in‟ (Crawford) to a variety of accounts Relatively straightforward to archive messages • More than 35,000 tweets contained hashtag #qldfloods during 10-16 January, 2013
  8. 8. #qldfloods tweets 10-16 Jan 2013
  9. 9. #qldfloods tweets and unique users per day, 10-16 Jan2011
  10. 10. Most visible contributors to #qldfloods, 10-16 January, 2011
  11. 11. Lessons for emergency managers • their network of followers, and the followers of the hashtags which are used in individual tweets, constitute important partners in disseminating information more widely than is possible for these services alone; • to maximise the possibility of retweeting, messages should be designed to be passed along easily (e.g. by leaving space in the tweet for adding „RT @username‟), and should contain hashtags relevant to the topic.
  12. 12. @QPS Media • Queensland Police Service Media Unit • Dedicated social media division within QPS • Innovations within the #qldfloods period e.g. #Mythbuster tweets to address false rumours
  13. 13. Coding of @QPSMedia tweets 1. Information – – – A: Advice S: Situational information R: Requests for information 2. Media sharing – – NM: News Media MM: Multimedia 3. Help and fundraising – – H: Help F: Fundraising 4. Direct experience – PNE: personal narrative and eyewitness reports 5. Reactions and discussions – – – – – AD: Adjunctive discussion PR: Personal reaction T: Thanks SP: Support META: Meta-discussion
  14. 14. #qldfloods tweet types over time, 9-17 January, 2011
  15. 15. @QPSMedia tweets and #qldfloods general tweets • general uses of #qldfloods and specific conversations around the @QPSMedia account differed quite considerably • whereas activity in the hashtag #qldfloods shows a fairly even distribution of tweet types, activities around @QPSmedia overwhelmingly consisted of Information tweets, complemented by a much smaller number of Media Sharing tweets • @QPSMedia was successful in reaching its target audience, and that audience treated the account with considerable care and respect • @QPSMedia tweets themselves were appropriate to the task at hand, containing timely and relevant information • Responses to @QPSMedia, in turn, remained consistently constructive and on-topic
  16. 16. Christchurch, NZ earthquake, February 22, 2013 • Nearly 200 fatalities • Followed Sept. 2010 earthquake – weakened building structures • #eqnz hashtag established after Sept. 2010 quake • Twitter as medium for “ambient journalism” (Alfred Hermida) – platform lies dormant for long periods and then is suddenly activated
  17. 17. Volume and type of #eqnz tweets, 22 Feb – 7 March, 2011
  18. 18. Most active #eqnz tweeters
  19. 19. Decline in unique users
  20. 20. Conclusions • Two-way, interactive nature of social media (e.g. Twitter) offers important advances on traditional communication channels • Can capture on-the-ground public intelligence • Complementary to broadcast and other mass media • Emergency services divisions themselves become media communicators (e.g. QPS Media) • Key is to be both a trusted information source and to actively engage the public as co-creators of relevant media and informational content
  21. 21. Thank you! Full paper available at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/63707/.

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