Date of this Version
PR News Media Relations Guidebook Vol. 2, pp 206-208.
The increased penetration of smart phones in Sub-Saharan Africa and the enthusiasm toward social media highlights the need for crisis managers working in the region to sharpen their crisis management skills to effectively protect and restore the reputations of their organizations. Research has consistently shown that Africa is the only region of the world where growth in mobile connections is expected in the next five years. Coupled with the ongoing increase in high-speed internet connections, there is little doubt that creating and sharing information online among locals will reach new proportions. Research by Portland Communications showed that South Africa was the continent’s most active country on Twitter, with over 5 million tweets sent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Kenya was second, with close to 2.5 million tweets sent. Sixty-eight percent of those polled said they used Twitter to monitor news. The enthusiasm toward social media in Sub-Saharan Africa and the high pace of information sharing during a crisis became evident in Kenya in September 2013, following allegations that some Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers had looted the Westgate Shopping Mall in the capital city Nairobi during a rescue mission at the mall following a terrorist attack.
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