Facebook as an official communication channel in a crisis

Susan Atkinson, Chris Kim, Jee Young LEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Digital platforms have become valuable resources to citizens as they allow immediate access to quality information and news. Staying up to date with information and news is particularly vital in crises such as bushfires. The 2019–20 bushfire season in Australia was extreme, resulting in widespread devastation and loss of life, property and wildlife. Communicating with affected communities is a critical component of community response and resilience in a disaster. Organisations, such as ACT Emergency Services Agency and the NSW Rural Fire Service, need to provide timely, accurate and reliable information. This study investigated official communication using Facebook during the Orroral Valley bushfires from these two emergency services agencies and considers to what extent messaging demonstrated the characteristics of effective crisis communication, including application of the National Framework for Scaled Advice and Warnings to the Community. A content analysis of over 600 posts revealed marked differences in approaches. The study revealed the benefits of using a combination of text, images and infographics in communication activities. Suggestions are provided about how social media could be used more effectively by truly connecting with communities to improve community preparedness and resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Facebook as an official communication channel in a crisis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this