Communication Research Works

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 15
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    Are you prepared for the next storm? Developing social normsmessages to motivate community members to perform disasterrisk mitigation behaviors
    (Wiley, 2022-06-14) Lim, JungKyu Rhys; Liu, Brooke Fisher; Atwell Seate, Anita
    Preparing for natural disasters and adapting to climate change can save lives. Yet, minimal research has examined how governments can motivate community members to prepare for disasters (e.g., purchasing flood insurance or installing water barriers in homes for floods and hurricanes). Instead, studies have focused on how to communicate actions individuals should take during disasters, rather than before disasters. This study develops messages targeting social norms, which are promising approaches to motivate community members to adopt disaster risk preparedness and mitigation behaviors. Specifically, we developed a variety of messages integrating descriptive norms (i.e., what others do), injunctive norms (i.e., what others believe should be done), and a social norms-based fear appeal, or social disapproval rationale (i.e., a negative social result of [not] taking behaviors). Then, we tested these messages through two between-subject factorial online experiments in flood- and hurricane-prone U.S. states with adult samples (N = 2,286). In experiment 1 (i.e., purchasing flood insurance), the injunctive norms message using weather forecasters and the social disapproval rationale message significantly increased social norms perceptions, which in turn influenced behavioral intentions. In experiment 2 (i.e., installing water barriers), the injunctive norms message using weather forecasters, the injunctive norms message using neighbors, and the social disapproval rationale message significantly increased social norms perceptions, which in turn influenced mitigation intentions. However, the descriptive social norms message was not effective in increasing social norms perceptions. We provide some of the first empirical evidence on how organizations’ risk communication can empower community members to prepare and mitigate the impact of disasters.
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    Maternal Health Information Disparities Amid Covid-19: Comparing Urban and Rural Expectant Mothers in Ghana
    (2023) Khamis, Sahar; Agboada, Delight Jessica
    The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted mothers’ access to credible and reliable health information from their healthcare providers. However, the impact of the pandemic on maternal health information access among rural and urban mothers has not been studied, especially in the Global South. Guided by the channel complementarity theory, we examined the sources of maternal health information rural and urban Ghanaian mothers used during the pandemic. Specifically, we analyzed the role access to technology plays in determining the quantity and quality of maternal health information expectant mothers had during the pandemic. Through purposive and snowball sampling techniques, we recruited and conducted in-depth interviews with 15 mothers, eight from rural communities and seven from urban communities in Ghana. We thematically analyzed the data and found that rural and urban mothers used medical and non-medical sources to obtain maternal health information. While medical sources remained the most credible information source even amid the pandemic, the mothers equally appreciated the immense benefits of other sources, particularly the internet. Our findings also suggest that the motivations for using maternal health information sources complementarily were not limited to the mothers’ functional needs, level of interest, and source characteristics but also covered the mothers’ location, resources, and health information literacy levels
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    The Evolving Weather Service: Relationship Dimensions that Drive Strong Partnerships
    (2020) Liu, Brooke; Seate, Anita Atwell
    Since the tragic tornado outbreaks in Central Alabama and Joplin, Missouri in 2011, the National Weather Service (NWS) has increasingly emphasized the importance of supporting community partners who help protect public safety. Through impact-based decision support services (IDSS), NWS forecasters develop relationships with their core partners to meet their partners’ decision-making needs. These core partners include broadcast meteorologists, emergency managers, and trained storm spotters. As part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency’s VORTEX-SE program, we conducted a survey in 2019 to examine how NWS forecasters and managers assess their relationships with core partners. Here we present the survey instrument from this project, which can be used by forecasters and others to assess the strength of their relationships with core partners.
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    How Forecasters Decide to Warn about Tornadoes: Multi-Sited Rapid Ethnography Training Guide
    (2019) Liu, Brooke; Atwell Seate, Anita
    Social scientists are prolific in their recommendations on how to better warn about tornadoes. However, social scientists rarely work in partnership with operational forecasters, begging the question of how applicable their recommendations are to the “real world.” As part of a two-year project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the goal of better understanding how forecasters decide to warn about tornadoes, we conducted a multi-sited rapid ethnography (along with telephone interviews and a cross-sectional survey of forecasters and managers). Here we archive our ethnography training guide should other researchers conduct similar research.
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    Leadership under fire: How governments manage crisis communication
    (2019) Liu, Brooke Fisher; Iles, Irina A.; Herovic, Emina
    Crisis leadership is fundamental to preventing, preparing for, managing, and learning from crises. Despite leadership during crises being heavily reliant on communicative processes, the research record predominantly reduces crisis communication leadership to managing organizations’ images. To contribute to limited knowledge on leadership communication during crises, we interviewed 24 U.S. government leaders and conducted a content analysis of U.S. government communication leadership during a major wildfire. We find that crisis communication leadership involves crisis perceptiveness, humility, flexibility, presence, and cooperation. We offer a message catalog of crisis response options for government leaders, and show how leaders employed some of these messages in response to a large-scale wildfire. This study expands the state of the art in crisis communication leadership research with implications for theory and practice.