Facebook discussion of a crisis : authority communication and its relationship to citizens
Tampere, P., Tampere, K., & Luoma-aho, V. (2016). Facebook discussion of a crisis : authority communication and its relationship to citizens. Corporate Communications, 21 (4), 414-434. doi:10.1108/CCIJ-08-2015-0049
Published inCorporate Communications
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Emerald. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the authority communication and its relationship to citizens during a disaster. This analysis is crucial for organisations to help them understand the different ways in which crises are perceived by citizens, and the reactions they may cause. The results will help authorities in planning their crisis communication. Design/methodology/approach Facebook comments written by authorities and citizens are studied and analysed in an exploratory case study related to the 2011 catastrophe in the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant via content analysis. Findings The analysis of Facebook comments revealed that authorities have to be prepared for communicating with citizens with diverging interests, who have different perceptions on a crisis and that relation is not the same with those different profiles of citizens. Research limitations/implications This case study only focusses on the Fukushima debate from the point of view of the authorities and citizens. Practical implications This study argues that it is crucial for both authorities and public relations practitioners to acknowledge that competing opinion holders are challenging each other and authority online, and that crisis communication should be planned accordingly. Originality/value The participant profiles can help organisations to clarify citizens’ crisis perceptions that can emerge in online discussions. Practitioners need to concentrate on determining how to get their voice heard so that there are perceived credible and legitimate actors. ...