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How Audiences Seek Out Crisis Information: Exploring the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model

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This study explores how audiences seek information from social and traditional media, and what factors affect media use during crises. Using the social-mediated crisis communication (SMCC) model, an examination of crisis information and sources reveals that audiences use social media during crises for insider information and checking in with family/friends and use traditional media for educational purposes. Convenience, involvement, and personal recommendations encourage social and traditional media use; information overload discourages use of both. Humor and attitudes about the purpose of social media discourage use of social media, while credibility encourages traditional media use. Practically, findings stressed the importance of third-party influence in crisis communication and the need for using both traditional and social media in crisis response.

Keywords: Crisis Communication; Information Seeking; Public Relations; Social Media

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-05-01

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