Title of Paper

A Multi-Platform Social Media Integration Approach to Disaster Communication by Tourism Organizations: The Case of Hurricane Florence

Author Bios (50 Words)

Danielle Barbe is doctoral student in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sports Management at the University of Florida. Danielle’s primary research interests include tourism communications, crisis communication, and risk and crisis management.

Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray is the Director of the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative at the University of Florida and Professor in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management. Her current research primarily focuses on crisis management strategies for the tourism industry

Ashley Schroeder, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at The Pennsylvania State University, as well as the Managing Director of the Tourism Crisis Management Initiative at the University of Florida. Her research focuses on proactive tourism crisis management from supply and demand perspectives. On the supply side, her focus has been on comprehensive tourism crisis management, destination resilience, risk and crisis communication, and collaborative networks. On the demand side, her focus has been on understanding the perceptions, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors of tourists in times of real and perceived crisis.

Abstract (150 Words)

Social media is integral to disaster communication and is even more critical when tourists are the intended audience. Tourists must receive timely and accurate disaster-related information, particularly when related to how they should respond to an impending disaster (e.g., evacuation orders). Social media provides the best medium for time-sensitive information to reach a vast audience. Social media, however, is a term used to cover multiple platforms, each appealing to different audiences with different use behaviors. Organizations must consider the characteristics of the platform in their online disaster communication strategies. Using a Social Media Integration approach, this study examined how tourism organizations integrated multiple platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) in their disaster communication efforts during Hurricane Florence. Analysis of 150 posts from seven DMOs across three platforms found that DMOs, while active on multiple platforms, are not integrating their communications effectively to obtain the best reach and capture users’ attention.

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A Multi-Platform Social Media Integration Approach to Disaster Communication by Tourism Organizations: The Case of Hurricane Florence

Social media is integral to disaster communication and is even more critical when tourists are the intended audience. Tourists must receive timely and accurate disaster-related information, particularly when related to how they should respond to an impending disaster (e.g., evacuation orders). Social media provides the best medium for time-sensitive information to reach a vast audience. Social media, however, is a term used to cover multiple platforms, each appealing to different audiences with different use behaviors. Organizations must consider the characteristics of the platform in their online disaster communication strategies. Using a Social Media Integration approach, this study examined how tourism organizations integrated multiple platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) in their disaster communication efforts during Hurricane Florence. Analysis of 150 posts from seven DMOs across three platforms found that DMOs, while active on multiple platforms, are not integrating their communications effectively to obtain the best reach and capture users’ attention.