Social media engagement as an evaluation barometer: Insights from communication executives

Hua Jiang, Yi Luo, Owen Kulemeka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine how communication executives and managers evaluate social media engagement and how they cultivate as well as measure social media engagement during crises. In-depth interviews were conducted with 43 in-house senior communication managers from 15 top-tier corporations and 28 non-profits based in the United States. The findings revealed that senior communication managers recognize the importance of making meaningful interpretations of informatics and work to analyze signs of engagement evident in stakeholders’ interactive and dialogic actions on various social media platforms. These communication managers also recognize the importance of social media in prior-crisis environmental scanning, creating a credible on-line voice by providing timely accurate information to affected communities, and adopting social media in crisis engagement, especially managing conversations and resonating to online stakeholders’ emotions. Based on these findings, the researchers further discussed an enhanced four-dimensional model for evaluating social media engagement in regular circumstances and a model for evaluating social media engagement during crisis communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-691
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Crisis engagement
  • Engagement measurement
  • Senior communication managers
  • Social media engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing


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