Crisis communication during a fire disaster
25th International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom)
This paper combines two topics – “government PR and public crisis communication” and the “erosion of trust in (public) authorities”. It is difficult to discuss crisis communication without considering the damages and implications to people’s trust in public and governmental institutions. Purpose: To study a particular severe situation that forced the Portuguese government to react and communicate with the public and then look for conclusions about the consequences of that reaction/communication. Mainly, to try to understand if the crisis that follow the fire called for a specific response strategy. Methodology: This research followed two sequential procedures: a content analysis and a stakeholder analysis applied to information materials collected from the Portuguese government official website, between 17 June and 12 October 2017. Findings: The results point out for a crisis response strategy that tries to avoid the citizen’s distrust emphasizing the government's competence dealing with the fire issue and its consequences. Research limitations: Being a sensitive issue, there were difficulties in the direct access to eventual goals and strategies behind the crisis management in the reported situation. In addition, because this is an exploratory study the citizen’s opinion is not yet included in this research stage. Originality/value: Contribute to the knowledge of the political trust concept in a real crisis situation bringing awareness to the important role that public relations’ function can play in helping governments to manage communication in a crisis context.
Tipo de Relatório
Government Public Relations,Crisis Communication,Political Trust,Digital Communication Platforms
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Ciências da Comunicação - Ciências Sociais