Title

More Monitoring, Less Coordination: Twitter and Facebook Use between Emergency Management Agencies

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-21-2020

Publication Title

Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Abstract

Social media applications facilitate information sharing between agencies, yet scholarship primarily focuses on government-to-citizen communication. This article explores how agencies use social networking applications and microblogs such as Twitter and Facebook to share information and interact with each other. Public information officers (PIOs) from 35 state emergency management agencies were interviewed, and transcripts were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Findings demonstrate that PIOs employ Twitter and Facebook to monitor content for situational awareness, post training opportunities, network with other agencies, and share and reuse content in different ways. Fewer agencies directly coordinate preparedness information campaigns during nonthreat periods and risk communication during emergency response operations. General impediments to those practices include lack of personnel, insufficient technical knowledge, and preferences for other channels. In all, Twitter and Facebook complement—but do not take the place of—other information and communications technology (ICTs) that facilitate operational coordination.

DOI

10.1515/jhsem-2020-0007

Volume

17

Issue

3

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