Our paper, Natural Disaster Strategic Communication: Drone, data and backpack journalism trends, has been recently published by PRism Journal and is part of a special issue on strategic communication in the digital age. It is on open-access category and is downloadable on Prism website. The paper, targeting both practitioners and academics, talks about the symbiotic relationship between journalism and public relations and analyzes media relations in the context of disaster communication.
Here’s the abstract:
New style media coverage of natural disasters is increasing in volume and immediacy, with knock-on implications for strategic communication. Advanced digital reporting and producing innovations have created an altered approach by journalists, leading to augmented demands on public relations practitioners managing a crisis. Drawing on journalistic experience covering the Typhoon Haiyan disaster in the Philippines, this paper analyses three digital advancements in disaster reporting that directly influence effective media relations during a crisis: the backpack equipment, drone cameras, and data infographics. This paper supports the theory that the symbiotic relationship between media management and journalists can be used successfully to support an informed public, and outlines a model of Digital Coopetition, whereby the digital requirements bring the two competing agendas of strategic communication and journalism into a cooperative sphere. With more natural disasters being in the news, it is timely to review how public relations practitioners can strategically address the needs of new style journalists, and recognise the potential of emerging reporting technologies in targeting their key publics.