Navigating “Information Seeking” in Crisis Communication

Getting information is crucial in crisis communications. Research shows how people look for information during tough times:

Social Media and Traditional Media: The Information Hunt

  • Social Media: Social media is where people go for inside information during crises. It’s a place to connect with loved ones and find support when things are hard.
  • Traditional Media: Newspapers, TV, and radio are trusted sources for educational info, especially in a crisis. They’re seen as credible and reliable, especially when things are uncertain.

Understanding these details is key for good crisis communication plans. Organisations must see the importance of both social and traditional media. By tailoring messages to each channel, organisations can communicate well.

Using both social media and traditional media boosts reach and trust. Being adaptable and knowing that people seek information differently helps organisations manage crises well.

Real-World Example: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Crisis

  • In 2016, Samsung had a crisis with their Galaxy Note 7 phone catching fire. It was dangerous and harmed Samsung’s reputation.
  • People Seeking Info:
    1. Consumers: People who bought the phone wanted to know if it was safe. They checked different sources to decide whether to keep using it or be safe.
    2. Media: Newspapers, TV, and online news told everyone about the crisis, recalls, and investigations. They were a main info source.
    3. Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit – people used these to share experiences, get advice, and know about updates. Social media made worries global.
    4. Word of Mouth: People talked to friends, family, and coworkers about the issue. This spread awareness and made people search for more info.
  • Information Channels:
    1. Traditional Media: News told about fires, recalls, and probes. Print, TV, and online news reported all this.
    2. Social Media: People used Twitter to talk directly to Samsung, share issues, and know about things. Hashtags like #GalaxyNote7 and #SamsungRecall trended.
    3. Official Statements: Samsung put out official statements to deal with the crisis. News and social media shared these.
    4. Customer Service: Social media and online forums helped people talk with Samsung’s support and learn about recalls and safety.
  • Result: Using social media, traditional media, and word of mouth during this crisis spread info quickly. This helped people get updates, share experiences, and make choices. Like official statements and talking with customers, Samsung’s crisis communication helped manage the crisis and rebuild trust.

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