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

35 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2014  

Clayton Wukich

Sam Houston State University

Ines Mergel

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Date Written: August 28, 2014

Abstract

A key task in emergency management is the timely dissemination of information to decision makers across different scales of operations, particularly individual citizens. Incidents over the past decade highlight communication gaps between government and constituents that have led to suboptimal outcomes. Social media provide 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 induce 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. We analyze Twitter messages posted over a three-month period, finding 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

Suggested Citation

Wukich, Clayton and Mergel, Ines, Closing the Citizen-Government Communication Gap: Content, Audience, and Network Analysis of Government Tweets (August 28, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2488681 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2488681

Clayton Wukich (Contact Author)

Sam Houston State University ( email )

1803 Ave I
Huntsville, TX 77341
United States

Ines Mergel

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ( email )

215 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/iamergel/

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