Marco Lombardi, Alessandro Burato

Crisis management and communication: Institutions and social media

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Crisis Management; Communication; Social Media; Institutions.

Emergency communication is central, particularly in relation to the ways Institutions approach the issue. As a matter of fact, institutional communication is frequently accused of not being exhaustive, timely and meaningful. This is usually due to the combination of necessarily different roles and different degrees of responsivity among different communication actors (mainly media and Institutions) during a crisis that results in an ineffective crisis management. Two are the main causes for this failure. Firstly, the public is more reluctant to receive information about possible critical events, before and during the event itself, due to a drastically changed risk scenarios: the use of communication by terrorism, which made it a source of threat itself, significantly influenced public demand to receive information. The second reason has to do with the always more pervasive use of the new ways of communication, which made it immediate but at the same time less controllable. The article aims at addressing these issues starting from: the change of risk scenarios that makes communication a central asset for the crisis management; the different «risk perception» and its impact on the information demand; the role that traditional media have and the ones that new communication technologies are gaining; the issues that Institutions have to deal with, especially in relation to the use of new technologies; possible strategic suggestions to improve institutional communication in emergency.

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