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Challenges in stakeholders self-organising to enhance disaster communication.

Le Roux, T. and Van Niekerk, D., 2019. Challenges in stakeholders self-organising to enhance disaster communication. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 25 (1), 128-142.

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2019Challengeesincommunitieself-organising.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1108/CCIJ-07-2019-0078


Purpose - This paper combines disaster risk reduction (DRR) and communication management literature to investigate the challenges and opportunities encountered when stakeholders spontaneously self-organise communication efforts during a disaster. The 2017 Knysna Fire Disaster in South Africa is used as context. Research methodology - The qualitative, exploratory research was supported by data obtained through thematic analysis of qualitative in-depth interviews and the Facebook page created by the community. Information from the disaster debrief was also included. Findings - The findings suggest that disaster information needs to be sent every 30 seconds to a minute to coordinate rescue and relief efforts. The challenges for disaster management teams to manage this mammoth task and the role that the self-organising community played in assisting the communication process was found not to be recognised in disaster management policies or systems. This adversely affected the work of the disaster management team and stakeholder relationship. Research limitations - This study focussed on one disaster. Future studies could possibly compare various disaster examples to provide even greater insight into the self-organising communicative behaviour of those affected by disasters. Originality/value - The research gives one of the first clear indications of the scope of disaster communication needed during a disaster. It also highlights the community’s ability to contribute to communication management during a disaster, and which is not catered for in the practice, guidelines, or management systems used for disaster management.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:disaster communication ; stakeholder communication ; disaster management ; communication management ; Knysna Fire Disaster
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:33240
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:15 Jan 2020 12:19
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:19


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