Title

Reaching Citizen 2.0: How Government Uses Social Media to Send Public Messages during Times of Calm and Times of Crisis

Publication Date

2012

Document Type

Book Chapter

Abstract

Many forms of public communication are now mediated through technologies that challenge traditional models of civic engagement and the public’s “right to know,” including communication for disaster management. This chapter employs a comparative lens to look at how social media messages are pushed forward by different layers of government to reach their publics during times of calm and crisis. Specifically, the project studies how information is framed for public consumption, how it is made available, and how it is timely and relevant. Research methods include a triangulation approach, including interviews with officials from over 20 city, regional, state, and federal agencies to follow up on content and textual analyses of online content disseminated by over 40 public agencies. This chapter argues that public administrators must be engaged with citizens and prepared to use social media during emergencies as well as for routine news, and offers key goals for government departments to promote an agenda of increased citizen information and engagement.

Original Citation

Van Leuven, N., Newton, D., Leuenberger, D., & Esteves, T. (2012). Reaching Citizen 2.0: How Government Uses Social Media to Send Public Messages during Times of Calm and Times of Crisis. In K. Kloby & M.J. D’Agostino (Eds.), Citizen 2.0: Public and Governmental Interaction through Web 2.0 Technologies (pp. 250-268). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-0318-9.ch013.