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Promoting Public Engagement during the COVID-19 Crisis: How Effective Is the Wuhan Local Government’s Information Release?

College of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010118
Received: 12 November 2020 / Revised: 16 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 26 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Communication and Informatics)
During times of public crises (such as COVID-19), governments must act swiftly to release crisis information effectively and efficiently to the public. This paper provides a general overview of the way that the Wuhan local government use Weibo as a channel to engage with their citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the media richness, dialogic loop, and a series of theoretically relevant factors, such as content type, text length, and information source, we try to examine how citizen engage with their local government. By analyzing the data mining samples from Wuhan Release, the official Sina Weibo account of Wuhan’s local government, results show that, despite the unstable situation COVID-19 over the crisis, there exist three stages of a crisis on the whole. Combining the behavior of the government and the public, duration from 31 December 2019 to 19 January 2020 could be seen as the development period, then the outbreak period (30 January 2020 to 28 February 2020), and a grace period (29 February 2020 to19 April 2020). Public attention to different types of information changes over time, but curbing rumors has always been a priority. Media richness features partially influent citizen engagement. Text length is significantly positively associated with citizen engagement through government social media. However, posts containing information sources have a negative impact on citizen engagement. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media; COVID-19; public engagement; crisis communication social media; COVID-19; public engagement; crisis communication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, Y.; Deng, W.; Zhang, Y.; Mao, Z. Promoting Public Engagement during the COVID-19 Crisis: How Effective Is the Wuhan Local Government’s Information Release? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010118

AMA Style

Yang Y, Deng W, Zhang Y, Mao Z. Promoting Public Engagement during the COVID-19 Crisis: How Effective Is the Wuhan Local Government’s Information Release? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(1):118. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010118

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yang, Yi, Wen Deng, Yi Zhang, and Zijun Mao. 2021. "Promoting Public Engagement during the COVID-19 Crisis: How Effective Is the Wuhan Local Government’s Information Release?" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 1: 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010118

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