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Applying Social Media in Crisis Communication: A Quantitative Review of Social Media-Related Crisis Communication Research from 2009 to 2017

Pages 29-37
Open Access

Yuan Wang and Chuqing Dong

Published: 3 August 2017


Abstract: Social media has drawn growing attention from crisis communication researchers. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of the current paradigm of research on social media and crisis communication, to identify the research gaps, and to help scholars understand future research directions in this area. The current study examined the trends and patterns of social media-related crisis communication research published in 11 communication and public relations journals from 2009 to 2017. More specifically, it focused on the trends and characteristics of research topics, theories and theoretical models, crisis types, social media platforms, sample types, and research methods. This study found that public relations-focused journals published most of the social media-related crisis communication articles. Most studies adopted theories or theoretical models and examined the role of social media in crisis communication, which focused on product tampering and general crisis. Additionally, a considerable number of studies employed content analysis techniques that used social media content as the sample. This study discussed the trends of social media-related crisis communication research and the directions for future research.

Keywords: Crisis communication, social media, research trend, public relations, communication.

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