RESCUE research on social media use in emergencies

WP 1: Development of criteria and models for optimal crisis communication

The objectives in WP1 are to: a) closely identify the specificities and contexts of the studied emergency cases, and the types of social media usage specific to the events; b) develop research procedures for the case studies (WPs 2-4) and lab study (WP 5) more closely, as well as workable criteria for optimal crisis communication tuned to the specificities of the emergency events. These criteria will be used to assess strengths and weaknesses of identified usage patterns in social media during emergencies; c) develop improved models of emergency communication incorporating social media, based on analysis of the empirical research done in the case and laboratory studies.

In an initial stage of the project, all five partners as well as an advisory committee with representatives from five relevant end user organisations will be involved in identifying characteristics and contexts of the different types of emergency events studied, based on assessments of existing research literature, previous end user experiences with the emergencies and evaluations of existing emergency communication advices such as Coombs’ advices for Crisis

Preparation, Recognition and Response (Coombs, 2012). This charting will be initiated in a workshop and will subsequently lead to: 1) Development of closely specified procedures for the research and development to be carried out in the work packages; 2) Development of workable criteria for appropriate emergency communication in order to assess strengths and weaknesses in practices among key communicators who incorporate social media in their responses; and 3) Development of improved theoretical and normative models of emergency communication that incorporate social media, and presentation of the models in a final report.