Lucinda Austin co-authors article for research journal

Assistant professor's work featured in the latest edition of Communication Research.

Lucinda Austin
Lucinda Austin, an assistant professor in Elon University’s School of Communications, co-authored an article titled, “Examining the Role of Social Media in Effective Crisis Management: The Effects of Crisis Origin, Information Form, and Source on Publics’ Crisis Responses” in the February edition of Communication Research.

The paper, which she wrote with colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Maryland, tests a social-mediated crisis communication model that helps crisis communication professionals implement social media channels effectively.

The abstract reads:

Publics increasingly use social media during crises and, consequently, crisis communication professionals need to understand how to strategically optimize these tools. Despite this need, there is scarce theory-grounded research to understand key factors that affect how publics consume crisis information via social media compared to other sources. To fill this gap, an emerging model helps crisis managers understand how publics produce, consume, and/or share crisis information via social media and other sources: the social-mediated crisis communication model (SMCC). This study tests essential components of the SMCC model through a 3 (crisis information form) x 2 (crisis information source) x 2 (crisis origin) mixed-design experiment (N = 338). The findings indicate the key role of crisis origin in affecting publics’ preferred information form (social media, traditional media, or word-of-mouth communication) and source (organization in crisis or third party), which influences how publics anticipate an organization should respond to a crisis and what crisis emotions they are likely to feel when exposed to crisis information.

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