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.

Threat Assessments and Organization Resources for DEI and Ethics: Practitioner Insights on Sticky Crises

Abstract: Organizations need to respond to sticky crises with speed and timeliness; this speed depends onhow communication practitioners assess threats and their organizations’ resources for the threats. Based on theoretical components from the threat appraisal model and sticky crises, this study measured how practitioners (n= 246) assessed threats and organizational resources for two specific sticky crisis complicating factors—specifically, ethics and DEI. Practitioner demographics were the most significant predictors for assessing threats and organizational resources.

Responding to Fire Ignited from Outside: Explicating “Crisis Spillover” through the Multi-Layered Lens of Organizational Crisis Communication

Abstract: Crises have been examined from the perspective of the crisis origin organization. Depending on the crisis type, other organizations might experience impacts because of the initial crisis. This emerging type of crisis—the crisis spillover—one that affects organizations along with the crisis origin organization, is under researched. A new conceptual framework to understand characteristics of crisis spillover is proposed and discussed for advancing research and practice for managing industry-wide complex crisis challenges.