Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The evolving symbiotic relationship between social media and emergency management : an exploration into the value of social media for emergency responders in the UK
Author: Parsons, Sophie
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis contributes to the field of social media within emergency management, helping us to better understand the value of social media for emergency responders. Social media have become an integral part of emergency management. Opportunities to increase situational awareness, improve emergency communications, and engage the public in preparedness and resilience-building activities are advocated ubiquitously in the literature. However, the impact upon emergency management resulting from emergency responders' social media use is presently inconclusive. Utilising a mixed methods approach, perceptions of both UK emergency responders and their followers are considered. Emergency responders' objectives and desired outcomes for using social media are explored. The views and motivations of their followers are then provided, o↵ering insights into the possible impacts of emergency responders' social media use upon emergency management. This research demonstrates that social media value for emergency responders depends on a combination of their intentions, online behaviour, and level of engagement from their followers. Future assessments must go further than judging emergency responders' ability to e↵ectively communicate in an emergency. Their ability to influence behaviour and perceptions through social media must be examined. The followers' motivations and perceptions also need to be understood; it emerged that social media are not merely confined to developing relationships between emergency responders and the public, but also between emergency responders themselves. It is recommended that, going forward, research in this field continue to employ a mixed methods approach. This research proposes a conceptual, multifaceted framework named SMOKE, which could serve two purposes: a guideline for future assessment of emergency responders' social media usage and a training/strategy tool for emergency responders to help guide their social media activity. Further, an abstract model of potential value is presented, which advocates three core roles social media could play in emergency management: from an information hub to an educational platform and, ultimately to a channel of influence and community spirit.
Supervisor: Weal, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available