[Conference abstract] Effective emergency messaging during natural disasters: An application of message compliance theories

Dootson, Paula, Mehta, Amisha M., Greer, Dominique, Tippett, Vivienne, Duncan, William D., Christensen, Sharon A., Stickley, Amanda P., & Baker-Jones, Melanie (2015) [Conference abstract] Effective emergency messaging during natural disasters: An application of message compliance theories. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 30(1), s12-s13.

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Abstract

Study/Objective

  • This research examines the types of emergency messages used in Australia during the response and early recovery phases of a natural disaster. The aim of the research is to develop theory-driven emergency messages that increase individual behavioural compliance during a disaster.

Background

  • There is growing evidence of non-compliant behaviour in Australia, such as refusing to evacuate and travelling through hazardous areas. This can result in personal injury, loss of life, and damage to (or loss of) property. Moreover, non-compliance can place emergency services personnel in life-threatening situations when trying to save non-compliant individuals. Drawing on message compliance research in psychology and sociology, a taxonomy of message types was developed to ascertain how emergency messaging can be improved to produce compliant behaviour.

Method

  • A review of message compliance literature was conducted to develop the taxonomy of message types previously found to achieve compliance. Seven categories were identified: direct-rational, manipulation, negative phrasing, positive phrasing, exchange appeals, normative appeals, and appeals to self. A content analysis was then conducted to assess the emergency messages evident in the Australian emergency management context. The existing messages were aligned with the literature to identify opportunities to improve emergency messaging.

Results & Conclusion

  • The results suggest there is an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of emergency messaging to increase compliance during the response and early recovery phases of a natural disaster. While some message types cannot legally or ethically be used in emergency communication (e.g. manipulative messaging), there is an opportunity to create more persuasive messages (e.g. appeals to self) that personalise the individual’s perception of risk, triggering them to comply with the message.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 84069
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: message compliance, emergency mangement, disasters
ISSN: 1945-1938
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Studies (200101)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 13 May 2015 01:14
Last Modified: 23 May 2016 08:40

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