Publics increasingly use social media during crises and, consequently, crisis communication professionals need to understand how to strategically optimize these tools. Despite this need, there is scarce theory-grounded research to understand key factors that affect how publics consume crisis information via social media compared to other sources. To fill this gap, an emerging model helps crisis managers understand how publics produce, consume, and/or share crisis information via social media and other sources: the social-mediated crisis communication model (SMCC). This study tests essential components of the SMCC model through a 3 (crisis information form) x 2 (crisis information source) x 2 (crisis origin) mixed-design experiment (N = 338). The findings indicate the key role of crisis origin in affecting publics’ preferred information form (social media, traditional media, or word-of-mouth communication) and source (organization in crisis or third party), which influences how publics anticipate an organization should respond to a crisis and what crisis emotions they are likely to feel when exposed to crisis information.
Jin, Yan, Brooke Fisher Liu and Lucinda L. Austin. 2014. Examining the Role of Social Media in Effective Crisis Management: The Effects of Crisis Origin, Information Form, and Source on Publics' Crisis Responses." Communication Research, 74-94. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0093650211423918