Exploring Differences in Crisis Literacy and Efficacy on Behavioral Responses during Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Abstract: This study examined the effects of literacy and efficacy on individuals’ protective action taking and information seeking during the early phase of infectious disease outbreaks through a nationally representative survey of 1,164 U.S. adults. New measures of disaster literacy and crisis efficacy were tested. Overall, results revealed that crisis efficacy and organizational efficacy drove protective action taking and information seeking intentions, while health literacy did not. Disaster literacy negatively predicted both protective action advice seeking and information seeking. The findings highlight the importance of strengthening public efficacy and improving relationships between health authorities and the public, which is greatly influenced by the public’s confidence in the health authority’s management of the crisis.

Current Issues of Social Media and Crisis Communication

Abstract: The standard advice in crisis communication is to respond quickly, but only with what is absolutely known to be fact. Social media have increased the potential for quick response, but that speed applies not only to facts but also to rumors or disinformation. This chapter lays out the challenges of this dilemma between speed and control. It also addresses the benefits of social media as a means to communicate specific messages to ever more specific audiences during a crisis. The chapter briefly reviews some established and emerging theory-focused scholarship. Case illustrations are used to parse details linked to theory and practice. Cases include the challenges of the briefly existing European Super League in football, the reaction of an updated user agreement for WhatsApp, and the bankruptcy of Fagor Electrical Appliances in Basque Country. Finally, the voices of global crisis communication experts are engaged to answer the question of common issues that emerge in crisis communication today.