Emergency Socialization

Working from a basis of more than 1,000 tweets issued around the 2015 release of the movie "Concussion", Douglas Wilbur and Danielle Myers, doctoral students at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, have investigated the manner in which positions are formed by groups of individuals responding to organizations undergoing a crisis, according to Polimedia.

Working from Contingency Theory, a theory developed from examination of how PR professionals and organizations form their responses, Wilbur and Myers built a road map for PR professionals to read a room and address concerns during crises. “This study sheds light on how large groups of relatively unorganized people on Twitter can come together to develop specific attitudes and stances toward organizations or topics and issues,” said Wilbur and Myers.

With the rapid rate of response available today, a recommendation developed from the research is for PR professionals to closely monitor various groups on Twitter and other social media, to allow for crafting of custom and targeted responses.

“Journalists and marketers have already been using Twitter for similar purposes,” said Wilbur. “PR professionals seem to be behind the curve in this regard and this study shows how using this theory with Twitter can be a very valuable tool.”