Emerging technologies, advances in social media, and new communication platforms have transformed how crisis communicators reach their audiences and partner agencies in a variety of situations. Not only do individuals and organizations communicate differently during a crisis, but they are also perceived very differently; social media platforms and messages add to the challenges involved in maintaining the overall reputation of brands and corporations. To better understand the new messaging system and its effects, the researchers analyzed social media crisis messages and messaging theory through various qualitative and quantitative value modeling techniques and generated a simple baseline model for what constitutes a “good” crisis message. Using data collected during Hurricane Irene, the researchers used this baseline model to rank effective and ineffective messages to determine whether the most followed/forwarded messages fit this model, and to identify a set of new best practices for crisis communicators and reputation management monitors using social media platforms.
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