Title: Social media adoption, message content, and reach: an examination of Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies

Authors: Clayton Wukich; Ashish Khemka

Addresses: Department of Political Science, Sam Houston State University, 1901 Avenue I, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA ' Department of Political Science, Sam Houston State University, 1901 Avenue I, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA

Abstract: This paper examines how and to what extent national-level Red Cross and Red Crescent organisations (i.e. national societies) use the social media platform Twitter. Specifically, we assess (a) adoption rates and influential factors; (b) message types and frequency; and (c) the ability to reach large audiences. Findings demonstrate that while the digital divide (i.e. the disparity between country-level internet access rates) limits adoption, key exceptions signal the potential for further diffusion. This paper also illustrates disparate message types, points out the limits of organisational reach, and presents evidence-based suggestions to improve message amplification.

Keywords: emergency management; non-governmental organisations; NGOs; social media; Twitter; media adoption; message content; organisational reach; Red Cross; Red Crescent; digital divide; social networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2017.083117

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2017 Vol.13 No.2, pp.89 - 116

Available online: 06 Mar 2017 *

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