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PR practitioners' experiences of, and attitudes towards, the internet's contribution to external crisis communication

PR practitioners' experiences of, and attitudes towards, the internet's contribution to external crisis communication
PR practitioners' experiences of, and attitudes towards, the internet's contribution to external crisis communication
Purpose: this paper aims to promote better understanding of how the internet is used as part of crisis communication.

Design/methodology/approach: the internet may be changing the way PR operates in a crisis. It has been reported that the web has a significant role in disseminating information and that many-to-many online communication allows organisations to achieve “excellent” communication. However, it has also been suggested that in practice there is a need for more flexibility that the “excellence” model suggests. This study reports on data collected from in-depth interviews with ten senior PR-practitioners in order to understand their experiences and attitudes.

Findings: a range of attitudes are identified, informed by recent experience. Although participants indicated knowledge of and preference for two-way communication with stakeholders, in practice they found this impractical or undesirable. This, their preference for existing approaches, and ignorance about the internet informed their views about online communication. The result was that some regarded the internet as inferior in terms of its ability to achieve “traditional” tasks and because of its potential for undesirable dialogue. When the web was acknowledged as useful it tended to be considered as supplementary to existing approaches. There was little recognition of the need for online dialogue.

Originality/value: this paper articulates a range of positive and negative attitudes towards the use of the internet for crisis communication, based on the experiences of senior PR practitioners
1356-3289
391-405
Fjeld, Kristin
d4910cc9-fb48-44f9-b293-98f8bc8d3518
Molesworth, Mike
48a49a79-1d99-4120-b0aa-578e42541724
Fjeld, Kristin
d4910cc9-fb48-44f9-b293-98f8bc8d3518
Molesworth, Mike
48a49a79-1d99-4120-b0aa-578e42541724

Fjeld, Kristin and Molesworth, Mike (2006) PR practitioners' experiences of, and attitudes towards, the internet's contribution to external crisis communication. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 11 (4), 391-405. (doi:10.1108/13563280610713860).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose: this paper aims to promote better understanding of how the internet is used as part of crisis communication.

Design/methodology/approach: the internet may be changing the way PR operates in a crisis. It has been reported that the web has a significant role in disseminating information and that many-to-many online communication allows organisations to achieve “excellent” communication. However, it has also been suggested that in practice there is a need for more flexibility that the “excellence” model suggests. This study reports on data collected from in-depth interviews with ten senior PR-practitioners in order to understand their experiences and attitudes.

Findings: a range of attitudes are identified, informed by recent experience. Although participants indicated knowledge of and preference for two-way communication with stakeholders, in practice they found this impractical or undesirable. This, their preference for existing approaches, and ignorance about the internet informed their views about online communication. The result was that some regarded the internet as inferior in terms of its ability to achieve “traditional” tasks and because of its potential for undesirable dialogue. When the web was acknowledged as useful it tended to be considered as supplementary to existing approaches. There was little recognition of the need for online dialogue.

Originality/value: this paper articulates a range of positive and negative attitudes towards the use of the internet for crisis communication, based on the experiences of senior PR practitioners

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2006
Organisations: Centre for Relational Leadership & Change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 362337
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/362337
ISSN: 1356-3289
PURE UUID: ae892857-4c6c-4627-97ac-760a7c521dde

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Feb 2014 11:42
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 02:53

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