Models of social media adoption in emergency management organisations

Newton, Judith (2014) Models of social media adoption in emergency management organisations. In Australia and New Zealand Disaster Management Conference : Earth: Fire and Rain, 5 - 7 May 2014, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland.

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Recent natural disasters such as the Haitian earthquake 2011, the South East Queensland floods 2011, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in the United States of America in 2012, have seen social media platforms changing the face of emergency management communications, not only in times of crisis and also during business-as-usual operations.

With social media being such an important and powerful communication tool, especially for emergency management organisations, the question arises as to whether the use of social media in these organisations emerged by considered strategic design or more as a reactive response to a new and popular communication channel.

This paper provides insight into how the social media function has been positioned, staffed and managed in organisations throughout the world, with a particular focus on how these factors influence the style of communication used on social media platforms. This study has identified that the social media function falls on a continuum between two polarised models, namely the authoritative one-way communication approach and the more interactive approach that seeks to network and engage with the community through multi-way communication. Factors such the size of the organisation; dedicated resourcing of the social media function; organisational culture and mission statement; the presence of a social media champion within the organisation; management style and knowledge about social media play a key role in determining where on the continuum organisations sit in relation to their social media capability.

This review, together with a forthcoming survey of Australian emergency management organisations and local governments, will fill a gap in the current body of knowledge about the evolution, positioning and usage of social media in organisations working in the emergency management field in Australia. These findings will be fed back to Industry for potential inclusion in future strategies and practices.

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ID Code: 73896
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: ISBN: 9781922232113
Paper available in the Book of Conference Proceedings in Conference Archives.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Social Media, Emergency Management, Business Models, New Media Adoption
ISBN: 9781922232113
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 14 Jul 2014 22:32
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2016 11:55

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