National peculiarities of social media use in crisis communications
When a company faces a crisis and this information becomes public, it is vital to neutralize harm for reputation as soon as possible, otherwise your brand will be destroyed instantly and you will have to build your reputation from the very beginning. In the digital century the use of social media in such situations becomes inevitable.
Social media can be classified into a variety of different types: social networks, bookmarking sites, social news, media sharing, microblogging, blog comments and forums. Unlike previous generation technologies, when the Internet consisted mainly of static pages, social media are used to facilitate information exchange, as the content can be updated by the users themselves. On the one hand, such a relatively new format of interaction gives new opportunities to communicate with various stakeholders, but on the other hand, it has a number of special demands and prerequisites.
The vital principle of crisis communications is to work fast and foresee possible consequences and potential harm. Advantages of using social media tools to resolve crisis situations are obvious: the efficiency of tracking potential threats to reputation, the speed of reaction, the scope and reach of the audience.
Depending on the culture, there are different attitudes toward conflicts and crisis situations. In some cultures conflicts are seen as negative, unnatural, destructive for individuals, groups and society, while in others this perception varies from neutral to positive and beneficial for greater understanding, learning and motivation. Various cultures prefer various strategies for responding to conflict: avoidance strategies, competition strategies, compromise strategies, accommodation strategies or cooperation strategies . All these peculiarities must be taken into account when a company is using social media tools for crisis communication.
Supervisor – Maria Lukanina, Associate Professor, PhD.
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