CRISIS COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND LEADERSHIP: A STUDY ON TWEETS BY BARACK OBAMA AND HILLARY


Aslan P.

ISTANBUL UNIVERSITESI ILETISIM FAKULTESI DERGISI, no.49, pp.15-30, 2015 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 49
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.17064/iuifhd.87307
  • Title of Journal : ISTANBUL UNIVERSITESI ILETISIM FAKULTESI DERGISI
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-30

Abstract

Social media has become a crucial part of the crisis communications and it is a concept that has to be handled as a detailed and meticulous process. Social media which is already a sensitive platform becomes even more sensitive during crises and even the smallest mistake may lead to negative outcomes. This would probably end up as a new crisis. Social media management during crises is closely linked to leadership and trust, especially if the social media account belongs to a person, not an organization. Protests which started when the police killed a colored citizen although he was not armed in Ferguson, the US in 2014, continued with the Freddie Gray unrest; people protested not only in streets but also on social media sending messages about the ones they held responsible. Meanwhile, both the US President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the probable president-to-be in the next elections, have tweeted about this incident and they were responded differently. This study aims to analyze the reactions to Obama's most up to date tweet during Baltimore protests (since he did not tweet directly about Baltimore during the protests), the White House tweet retweeted by Obama, and Hillary Clinton's tweet on Baltimore incidents. Replies to these tweets are important as they present essential tips on crisis communication. The tweets analyzed in the study are categorized according to perception, emotions indicated and reactions to the communication strategies used by the organization (or the individual). Analyzing social media content may give us some crucial hints about strategic communication management.