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What Is the Role of Social Media in Crisis Communication Essay

Abstract

This paper discusses the role of social media on crisis communication. Social media is the shared interaction between human communications. Social media has had a profound effect over the past several years, and has greatly changed crisis communication. It has made crisis communication more efficient and made it on a wider scale. This paper discusses the role of social media on crisis communication.

To understand the role social media plays in crisis communication, we must first understand what crisis communication, and social media are. Social media is the shared interaction and communication between organizations, communities, and individuals. There are three things that make social media useful: immediacy, ubiquity, and availability. Immediacy meaning social media results in instantaneous transformation of information. Social media is Ubiquitous: meaning that hundreds of millions of individuals use social media. It encourages globalization, interaction, and participation. Availability meaning social media is available to anyone with an internet connection. Social media has definitely changed communication and crisis response. It has been a pivotal role in people’s lives. With rise of social media communication has been democratized.

Social media determines how news is communicated. Social media allows us to communicate our thoughts, connect with people across the globe by reaching millions around the world. Increase in technology social media has become an important way of reaching audience. Half of the general population participates in online communication like Face Book, Twitter, and emails. It provides opportunity to participate, contribute ideas, and share knowledge. Social media is an efficient way for crisis communication for companies to defend its reputation. If a company has a blog and negative remarks have been made, crisis communicator can respond by counter remarks.

One big role that a social media has to make sure their team, are the ones who are actually the voice of the organization. With the right tools in place any social media can play an important role in crisis communication. The rapid growth of mobile `applications increase the potential for reaching a large audience in a very short period of time. Through mobile application quicker accurate information is delivered to a broad audience around the globe.

While social media is changing the efficiency of crisis communication, it’s also changing the practices of crisis communication, and the rate at which it’s advancing. The three strengths of social media (immediacy, ubiquity, and availability) allow crisis managers and instigators to communicate and manage crisis with great speed. However at the same time crises can be created on social media itself, mainly those affecting businesses. Another way that social media affects crisis communication, is the fact that it has changed what used to be regional crises into global crises.

As you can see social media is an important way of reaching audiences. In this case the audience must be informed of crises. In the end if it weren’t for social media, it would be difficult to handle crisis.

Reference:
http://www.boozallen.com/insights/insight-detail/4242069
http://www.danlandau.net/writing/sources/research/danlandau_thesis.pdf http://www.katebrodock.com/2011/11/the-role-of-a-social-media-communicator-during-a-crisis-a-conversation-with-chrisbrogan/

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