Influencer Crisis Communication During the COVID-19 Pandemic: @KatieMCrenshaw
Abstract: Social media influencers (SMIs) equipped their niche following with health crisis response information about social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many SMIs provided audiences with COVID-19 crisis response information, this case chapter details how a widely followed millennial mom influencer, Katie Crenshaw, leveraged Instagram’s features in line with the Health Belief Model (HBM). To reduce the barriers to social distancing, her content engaged her audience with practical ways to social distance with children. She fostered a social media community of moms committed to staying at home with their children during the health crisis. She also held her followers accountable to social distancing by developing a hashtag campaign with other widely followed SMIs. The following case chapter outlines her content strategy in light of HBM, a theory increasingly being used to examine the effectiveness of crisis communication efforts. Insights and recommendations for practitioners and researchers are discussed.