Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 605

Full Length Research Paper

Review and thematic analysis of guiding principles for effective crisis communication using social media

Melissa MacKay
  • Melissa MacKay
  • Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.
  • Google Scholar
Jillian Jaworski
  • Jillian Jaworski
  • Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.
  • Google Scholar
Jennifer E. McWhirter
  • Jennifer E. McWhirter
  • Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.
  • Google Scholar
Daniel Gillis
  • Daniel Gillis
  • School of Computer Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.
  • Google Scholar
Andrew Papadopoulos
  • Andrew Papadopoulos
  • Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 26 January 2022
  •  Accepted: 19 April 2022
  •  Published: 30 April 2022

Abstract

Effective crisis communication on social media targets and tailor’s crisis information to influence risk perception and ensures messages are accepted. The aim of the current research is to map the research available and summarize key findings of the guiding principles and strategies for social media-based risk and crisis communication during emerging infectious diseases. North American-focused literature assessing risk and crisis communication via social media during emerging infectious diseases between 2009 and 2021 was obtained and examined. From an analysis of 52 sources, we identified five descriptive themes related to the characteristics associated with the receiver of crisis messages, the source of crisis messages, and characteristics associated with increased message acceptance and uptake on social media platforms. The current review builds on prior reviews through the inclusion of additional qualitative studies incorporating public perspectives. The majority of included sources were quantitative U.S. studies focused on COVID-19. We found that social media attributes, features, and analytics can be used to enable interaction, promote amplification of crisis messages, and to better understand the information needs of various subpopulations. Additional research is needed to better understand how to effectively communicate via social media to subpopulations impacted by emerging infectious disease.

Key words: Crisis communication, risk communication, social media, emerging infectious disease, COVID-19, guiding principles.