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A Process View of Crisis Misinformation: How Public Relations Professionals Detect, Manage, and Evaluate Crisis Misinformation


A Process View of Crisis Misinformation: How Public Relations Professionals Detect, Manage, and Evaluate Crisis Misinformation

Abstract: 

As an emergent phenomenon in public relations research, crisis misinformation can challenge organisational crisis response strategies and narratives and public information vetting, affecting trust, morale, safety, and financial performance. This study introduces a practitioner perspective to complement existing crisis misinformation research that has been directed towards public approaches to crisis information vetting and evaluation of crisis misinformation corrections. By examining how 31 public relations professionals categorise, detect, vet, respond to, and evaluate misinformation within a variety of crises, this study adds to existing knowledge, a process view for crisis misinformation management. In-depth interview findings show that (a) crisis misinformation is common but varies by type, severity, and formation, (b) crisis misinformation vetting processes can affect the timeliness and nature of correction strategies, (c) participants use a range of criteria to determine if and how they respond to crisis misinformation, (d) response strategies comprise correction strategies and alternatives, differing by the source and nature of the crisis misinformation, and (e) evaluation varies from within-crisis to post-crisis techniques. Based on these findings, a framework for responding to crisis misinformation has been developed to support ongoing practice.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Mehta, Amisha M., Brooke F. Liu, Ellen Tyquin, and Lisa Tam. 2021. "A Process View of Crisis Misinformation: How Public Relations Professionals Detect, Manage, and Evaluate Crisis Misinformation." Public Relations Review (June). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0363811121000321

START Author(s): 
Brooke Liu
Publication URL: 
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