PR professionals can use Facebook to improve public image during crisis: Study

Last Updated: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 21:52

Washington: A recent study has revealed that public relation professionals can effectively reach out the users on Facebook to improve the overall image of the organisation in crisis.

Public relations professionals have started using Facebook more and more to communicate with public.

Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) School of Journalism have found that posting public relations information on Facebook during a time of crisis can improve the overall image of the organization that was experiencing the crisis.

Seoyeon Hong, a doctoral candidate in the MU School of Journalism, along with co-author Bokyung Kim, a professor at Rowan University and former doctoral student at MU found that Facebook can make a positive impact in crisis management efforts.

Because Facebook is very personal for its users, well-thought-out crisis management messages can be effective at reaching users on a personal level, which is a powerful way to persuade people to a cause.

Hong also found that Facebook posts written in a narrative style were more effective than posts written in a non-narrative format as the former style was chronological and focuses more on story-telling rather than fact listing.

The effect of narrative tone in organizational statements during crises increases perceived conversational human voice, which represents a high level of engagement and best communicates trust, satisfaction, and commitment to the audience, Hong said.

This could help create perceptions that an organization was sincerely trying to provide timely and accurate information during a crisis, which can lead to not only more favorable attitudes toward the organization, but also perceptions of less responsibility the organization has for causing the crisis.


First Published: Thursday, September 5, 2013 - 21:52

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