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Digital Crisis Communication Theory: Current Landscape and Future Trajectories


In 2010, Jin and Liu proposed the first public relations model to explain and predict the impact of digital media on organizations’ crisis communication strategy and public responses. More than a decade later, the social-mediated crisis communication (SMCC) model remains a dominant theory in digital crisis communication research. Yet, much has changed in the digital media landscape over the past decade, including an explosion of social media channels and public relations research. In this chapter, we trace the evolution of the SMCC model along with other digital crisis communication theories. We then propose the first significant revision of the SMCC model since 2012. We conclude with a research roadmap for the next decade of public relations scholarship on digital crisis communication.

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Full Citation:

Liu, Brooke Fisher, Yan Jin, and Lucinda Austin. 2023. "Digital Crisis Communication Theory: Current Landscape and Future Trajectories." In Carl Botan and Erich Sommerfeldt (eds) Public Relations Theory III. Routledge: NY.

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