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

Clayton Wukich and I have a new paper as part of a special issue on “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Crisis, Disaster, and Catastrophe Management” edited by Christopher G. Reddick and Akemi Takeoka Chatfield in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Our paper with the title: “Closing the Citizen-Government Communication Gap: Content, Audience, and Network Analysis of Government Tweets” uses tweets from State Emergency Managers to understand who is paying attention to official government tweets and how these tweets are reused by social media users.

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-manygovernment communication tactics, a number of agencies employed interactive approaches including one-to-one and many-to-many strategies.

Full reference:

Wukich, Clayton, and Ines Mergel. 2015. “Closing the Citizen-Government Communication Gap: Content, Audience, and Network Analysis of Government Tweets.” Journal of Homeland Security & Emergency Management 12 (3):707-735.

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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