CRISIS AND DISRUPTION COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT IN THE AIRPORTS SECTOR: THE EFFECTIVE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Main Article Content

Lúcia de Fátima Silva Piedade
David Warnock-Smith

Keywords

Communications management, Airport crisis management, Airport disruption management, Social media communications

Abstract

Although the use of social media within the airport industry is not a new practice, there are still varying degrees of real and perceived concerns around how to best deliver positive rather than negative user engagement and experiences through social media platforms. This perceived risk becomes particularly apparent during times of significant airport operational disruption and crisis. Using an airport user questionnaire (in Portugal) and operational expert interviews (in the UK), this study aimed to determine the ways in which airport use of social media platforms should be integrated into overall airport crisis and disruption management strategies. This led to an evidence-based template communications flow model for airport operations managers and their communications teams to help ensure common and consistent messaging, positive user engagement/experiences, and reduced business fallout from significant disruption and crises. Future research should seek to test the usefulness of specific communications and social media guidance that airports use internally to determine if they are consistent with the different user preferences by crisis typology as detailed in this study.

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