Balancing conflicting operational and communications priorities: Social media use in an emergency management organization

Potter, Emma (2016) Balancing conflicting operational and communications priorities: Social media use in an emergency management organization. In ISCRAM 2016 Conference, 22-25 May 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Social media are now widely used by affected members of the public during an emergency. As these platforms have become mainstream , governments have responded to the public’s expectation that information is available online, particularly during disasters. Emergency management organizations (EMOs) now widely use social media to communicate with the public alongside occasional intelligence gathering. While EMOs increasingly use social media, breakdowns in internal communication can inhibit the dissemination of timely information to their online followers. Drawing on a two - year ethnography at the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), an Australian EMO, this paper outlines how the organization uses social media to disseminate information during emergencies and identifies the internal tensions around its use. These tensions include the prioritization of operational duties over public information responsibilities, and the difficulties around requesting and receiving information from operational personnel located on the ground.

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ID Code: 95737
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: emergency management, social media, internal communication, disasters, ethnography
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Digital Media Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: 2016 [Please consult the author]
Deposited On: 18 Sep 2016 23:10
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 22:12

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