Reuse of social media information by public officials during crisis situations #smem

Together with my co-author Clayton Wukich who is the lead author on this paper, I just published a paper with the title “Reusing social media information in government” in Government Information Quarterly.

ABSTRACT

Across policy domains, government agencies evaluate social media content produced by third parties, identify valuable information, and at times reuse information to inform the public. This has the potential to permit a diversity of social media users to be heard in the resulting information networks, but to what extent are agencies relying on private citizens or others outside of the policy domain for message content? In order to examine that question, we analyze the online practices of state-level government agencies. Findings demonstrate that agencies emulate offline content reuse strategies by relying predominately on trusted institutional sources rather than new voices, such as private citizens. Those institutional sources predominantly include other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, and their messages focus mostly on informing and educating the public.

Please cite the article as: Wukich, C., & Mergel, I., Reusing social media information in government, Government Information Quarterly (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2016.01.011

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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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