Connecting Residents in the Face of H1N1: Looking Into a Communicative Model by the City of Ottawa

Connecting Residents in the Face of H1N1: Looking Into a Communicative Model by the City of Ottawa

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Titre: Connecting Residents in the Face of H1N1: Looking Into a Communicative Model by the City of Ottawa
Auteur: Kennery, Ryan
Résumé: During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, the City of Ottawa implemented a program to disseminate vaccination clinic information using the microblogging tool Twitter. The purpose of this thesis is to examine and evaluate whether this program constitutes a communicative model. The challenge for crisis communicators has been to convince a confused and skeptical public to be vaccinated against the virus. Drawing on Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Rousseau’s The Social Contract, the theoretical framework of this thesis feeds from Heidegger’s (1977) views on technology, new media, Web 2.0 technologies, Eid’s (2008) Crisis Decision-Making Model for Media Rational Responsibility, Rowan, Botan, Krepes, Samoilenko and Farnsworth’s (2008) CAUSE model, Crozier’s (1967) Theory of Bureaucratic Dysfunction and New Public Management. The thesis employs a case study approach and utilizes a qualitative research design to analyze the Twitter messages and internal City of Ottawa documents, and to conduct in-depth interviews with employees. Findings reveal and explain that the City of Ottawa’s program constitutes a flawed communicative model. A recommended communicative model is put forth in order to improve the areas of planning, human resources and message design. This model contributes to the emerging field of social media, and is intended to help health crisis decision-makers communicate their messages effectively.
Date: 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/19889
Superviseur: Eid, Mahmoud
Faculté: arts
Degré: ma

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