Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak, D.Sc.

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel, Ph.D.

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.474
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.627

CiteScore 2016: 0.57

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.245
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.358

Online
ISSN
1547-7355
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Closing the Citizen-Government Communication Gap: Content, Audience, and Network Analysis of Government Tweets

Clayton Wukich
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Political Science, Sam Houston State University, 1901 Avenue I, Rm 496D, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ines Mergel
  • Department of Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, 215 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-07-15 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsem-2014-0074

Abstract

A key task in emergency management is the timely dissemination of information to decision makers across different scales of operations, particularly to individual citizens. Incidents over the past decade highlight communication gaps between government and constituents that have led to suboptimal outcomes. Social media can provide valuable tools to reduce those gaps. This article contributes to the existing literature on social media use by empirically demonstrating how and to what extent state-level emergency management agencies employ social media to increase public participation and promote behavioral changes intended to reduce household and community risk. Research to this point has empirically examined only response and recovery phases related to this process. This article addresses each phase of emergency management through the analysis of Twitter messages posted over a 3-month period. Our research demonstrates that while most messages conformed to traditional one-to-many government communication tactics, a number of agencies employed interactive approaches including one-to-one and many-to-many strategies.

Keywords: emergency management communication; social convergence; social network analysis; twitter

References

  • Ambinder, E., D. M. Jennings, I. Blachman-Biatch, K. Edgemon, P. Hull and A. Taylor (2013) The Resilient Social Network: @OccupySandy #SuperstormSandy. Falls Church, VA: Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute.Google Scholar

  • Atkinson, G. M. and D. J. Wald (2007) “‘Did You Feel It?’ Intensity Data: A Surprisingly Good Measure of Earthquake Ground Motion,” Seismological Research Letters, 78(3):362–368.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bennett, D. M. (2014) “How do Emergency Managers Use Social Media Platforms?” Journal of Emergency Management, 12(3):251–256.Google Scholar

  • Borgatti, Stephen P., Martin G. Everett and Linton C. Freeman (2002) Ucinet 6 for Windows: Software for Social Network Analysis. Harvard: Analytic Technologies.Google Scholar

  • Bourque, L. B., R. Regan, M. M. Kelley, M. M. Wood, M. Kano and D. S. Mileti (2013) “An Examination of the Effect of Perceived Risk on Preparedness Behavior,” Environment and Behavior, 45(5):615–649.Google Scholar

  • Bruns, Axel (2014) “Crisis Communication, Social Media, and the Environment.” In: (S. Cunningham and S. Turnbull, eds.) The Media and Communications in Australia. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar

  • Bruns, A., J. Burgess, K. Crawford and F. Shaw (2012) #qldfloods and @QPSMedia: Crisis Communication on Twitter in the 2011 South East Queensland Floods. Kelvin Grove, Queensland, Australia: ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries & Innovation (CCI).Google Scholar

  • Comfort, Louise K. (1999) Shared Risk: Complex Systems in Seismic Response. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar

  • Comfort, L. K. (2005) “Risk, Security, and Disaster Management,” Annual Review of Political Science, 8:335–356.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Committee on Homeland Security (2013) “Emerngency Mgmt 2.0: How #SocialMedia & New Tech are Transforming Preparedness, Response, & Recovery #Disasters.” Comittee on Homeland Security Retrieved Serial No. 113-20. Available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-113hhrg85685/html/CHRG-113hhrg85685.htm.

  • Denef, S., P. S. Bayerl and N. Kaptein (2013) Social Media and the Police-Tweeting Practices of British Police Forces during the August 2011 Riots. Paper Presented at the 2013 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013).Google Scholar

  • Drabek, Thomas E. (2010) The Human Side of Disaster. Boca Raton: CRC Press.Google Scholar

  • Eveleth, R. (2012) Hurricane Sandy: Five Ways to Spot a Fake Photograph, BBC.com, Available at: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121031-how-to-spot-a-fake-sandy-photo.

  • FEMA (2011) A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes, and Pathways for Action. Washington, DC.Google Scholar

  • Fugate, Craig (2011) Understanding the Power of Social Media as a Communication Tool in the Aftermath of Disasters. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs. Available at: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2011/05/04/written-statement-craig-fugate-administrator-federal-emergency-management-agency.

  • Gastil, J. (2008) Political Communication and Deliberation. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.Google Scholar

  • Haddow, G. D. and K. Haddow (2014) Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World, 2nd ed. Waltham, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.Google Scholar

  • Heverin, T. and L. Zach (2012) “Use of Microblogging for Collective Sense-making During Violent Crises: A Study of Three Campus Shootings,” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 63(1):34–47.Google Scholar

  • Hu, Q. and N. Kapucu (2014) “Information Communication Technology Utilization for Effective Emergency Management Networks,” Public Management Review, 1–26.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hughes, A. L. and L. Palen (2012) “The Evolving Role of the Public Information Officer: An Examination of Social Media in Emergency Management,” Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 9(1):1–20.Google Scholar

  • Hughes, A. L., L. A. St. Denis, L. Palen and K. M. Anderson (2014) Online Public Communications by Police & Fire Services during the 2012 Hurricane Sandy. Paper Presented at the 2014 International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2014).Google Scholar

  • IBM Corp. Released 2013. IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 22.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.Google Scholar

  • Kapucu, N. (2006) “Interagency Communication Networks during Emergencies: Boundary Spanners in Multiagency Coordination,” The American Review of Public Administration, 36(2):207–225.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kendra, J. and T. Wachtendorf (2003) “Reconsidering Convergence and Convergence Legitimacy in Response to the World Trade Center Disaster.” In: (L. Clarke, ed.) Terrorism and Disaster: New Threats, New Ideas (Vol. 11). Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 97–122.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Latonero, M. and I. Shklovski (2011) “Emergency Management, Twitter, and Social Media Evangelism,” International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM), 3(4):1–16.Google Scholar

  • Lindell, Michael K. and Ronald W. Perry (2012) “The Protective Action Decision Model: Theoretical Modifications and Additional Evidence,” Risk Analysis, 32(4):616–632.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Mergel, I. (2011) “Government 2.0 Revisited: Social Media Strategies in the Public Sector,” PA Times, 33(3):7–10.Google Scholar

  • Mergel, I. (2012) Social Media in the Public Sector: Participation, Collaboration, and Transparency in a Networked World. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley.Google Scholar

  • Mergel, I. (2013) “Social Media Adoption and Resulting Tactics in the U.S. Federal Government,” Government Information Quarterly, 30(2):123–130.Google Scholar

  • Mergel, I. (2014) Social Media Practices in Local Emergency Management: Results from Central New York, Report. Available at: http://sotechem.syr.edu.

  • Nabatchi, T. (2012) “Putting the ‘Public’ Back in Public Values Research: Designing Participation to Identify and Respond to Values,” Public Administration Review, 72(5):699–708.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Phillips, B., D. M. Neal and G. Webb (2012) Introduction to Emergency Management. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar

  • Ripberger, Joseph T., Hank C. Jenkins-Smith, Carol L. Silva, Deven E. Carlson and Matthew Henderson (2014) “Social Media and Severe Weather: Do Tweets Provide a Valid Indicator of Public Attention to Severe Weather Risk Communication?” Weather, Climate, and Society, 6(4):520–530.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Southwell, B. G. (2013) Social Networks and Popular Understanding of Science and Health. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

  • St. Denis, L. A., A. L. Hughes and L. Palen (2012) Trial by Fire: The Deployment of Trusted Digital Volunteers in the 2011 Shadow Lake Fire. Paper Presented at the The 9th International ISCRAM Conference.Google Scholar

  • St. Denis, L. A., L. Palen and K. M. Anderson (2014) Mastering Social Media: An Analysis of Jefferson Countys Communications during the 2013 Colorado Floods. Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management Conference (ISCRAM 2014), State College, PA.Google Scholar

  • Su, Yee San, Clarence Wardell III and Zoë Thorkildsen (2013) Social Media in the Emergency Management Field: 2012 Survey Results. Arlington, VA: CNA.Google Scholar

  • Sutton, J. N. (2009) “Social Media Monitoring and the Democratic National Convention: New Tasks and Emergent Processes,” Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, 6(1):1–20.Google Scholar

  • Sutton, J. N. (2010) Twittering Tennessee: Distributed Networks and Collaboration Following a Technological Disaster. Paper Presented at the 7th International ISCRAM Conference.Google Scholar

  • Sutton, J., E. Spiro, C. Butts, S. Fitzhugh, B. Johnson and M. Greczek (2013a) “Tweeting the Spill: Online Informal Communications, Social Networks, and Conversational Microstructures during the Deepwater Horizon Oilspill,” International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM), 5(1):58–76.Google Scholar

  • Sutton, Jeannette, Britta Johnson, Emma Spiro, and Carter Butts (2013b) “Tweeting What Matters: Information, Advisories, and Alerts Following the Boston Marathon Events,” Online Research Highlight. Available at: http://heroicproject.org.

  • Sutton, J., E. Spiro, B. Johnson, S. Fitzhugh, S. Gibson and C. Butts (2014) “Warning Tweets: Serial Transmission of Messages during the Warning Phase of a Disaster Event,” Information, Communication & Society, 17(6):765–787.Google Scholar

  • Tierney, K. and E. L. Quarantelli (1989) “Needed Innovation in the Delivery of Emergency Medical Services in Disasters: Present and Future,” Disaster Management, 2(2):70–76.Google Scholar

  • Tierney, K. J., M. K. Lindell and R. W. Perry (2001) Facing the unexpected: Disaster preparedness and response in the United States. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.Google Scholar

  • Wald, D. J., V. Quitoriano and J. W. Dewey (2006). USGS “Did you feel it?” Community Internet Intensity Maps: Macroseismic Data Collection via the Internet. Paper Presented at the First European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar

  • Wukich, C. (forthcoming). Social Media Use in Emergency Management. Journal of Emergency Management.Google Scholar

  • Wukich, C. and A. Steinberg (2014) “Nonprofit and Public Sector Participation in Self-organizing Information Networks: Twitter Hashtag and Trending Topic Use during Disasters,” Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 4(2):83–109.Google Scholar

  • Zavattaro, S. M. and A. J. Sementelli (2014) “A Critical Examination of Social Media Adoption in Government: Introducing Omnipresence,” Government Information Quarterly, 31(2):257–264.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

About the article

Corresponding author: Clayton Wukich, Department of Political Science, Sam Houston State University, 1901 Avenue I, Rm 496D, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA, e-mail:


Published Online: 2015-07-15

Published in Print: 2015-09-01


Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, ISSN (Print) 2194-6361, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jhsem-2014-0074.

Export Citation

©2015 by De Gruyter. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Clayton Wukich, Michael D. Siciliano, Jason Enia, and Brandon Boylan
International Public Management Journal, 2017, Volume 20, Number 3, Page 381
[2]
Mary K. Feeney and Adrian Brown
Government Information Quarterly, 2017, Volume 34, Number 1, Page 62
[3]
Clayton Wukich
Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 2016, Volume 24, Number 4, Page 230
[4]
Clayton Wukich and Ines Mergel
Government Information Quarterly, 2016, Volume 33, Number 2, Page 305

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in