A consistent finding in the crisis communication literature is that organizations should attempt to have a well-established relationship in place with stakeholders before a crisis occurs. Organizations need to engage in dialogue in advance of crisis situations. I have written a paper on this topic together with Abbey Levenshus (U of Tennessee), and it has just been accepted for the CCI Conference on Corporate Communication.
The paper is called “Digital Dialogue: Crisis Communication in Social Media” and summarizes and discusses the literature that gives advice on how to use social media in this regard. It is argued that there is still a lot to learn from the more sophisticated theoretical conceptions of dialogue. Dialogue can be seen as a quality of communication and of relating with others, and/or an ideal to strive for. Here then, notions like mutuality and reciprocity are discussed in the context of social media and crisis. Practical suggestions are made for how the dialogue ideal can be approached, while at the same time recognizing the limitations imposed by the organizational context.