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British Food Journal ; 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2191304


PurposeThe purpose of this study is to analyse the brand communication on social media (SM) made by two- and three-starred restaurants and the customer reaction in terms of engagement effects during a crisis. The research highlights the connections between brand communication and engagement dynamics on Instagram by looking for differences in the strategies of two and three-starred restaurants and by highlighting the changes in the background engagement drivers.Design/methodology/approachUsing data collected from 5,666 Instagram posts by 34 Italian Michelin-starred restaurants, the authors analysed the crisis-driven changes in online communication and customer engagement comparing three phases of the COVID-19 pandemic by applying a linear regression model with fixed effects.FindingsMichelin-starred restaurants changed their strategies of brand communication to overcome the effects of the crisis. The findings highlight the importance of SM as a tool to stay in touch with consumers and the pivotal role of customers in engagement, especially during a pandemic.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors' knowledge, this is among the first studies to investigate the changes in brand communication and the effects on customer engagement during a pandemic, with a focus on Instagram. It contributes to understanding the role of platform and the main drivers of engagement on Instagram, as well as suggesting how managers can improve brand value using SM.

International Journal of Public Sector Management ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1746143


Purpose: Covid-19 is a worldwide pandemic disease that changed the government communication to citizens about the health emergency. This study aims to provide in-depth research about regional Italian government communication through social media (SM) and its effects on citizens' engagement. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses a case analysis, focusing on the Italian context. In detail, the authors analyse the more involved Italian regions in Covid-19 pandemic (Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna and Tuscany) applying the Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) model. Findings: The results reveal that SM is a powerful tool for communication during a health emergency and for facilitating the engagement with stakeholders. However, results also highlight a different perception about the timing of the Covid-19 crisis. Practical implications: Findings suggest a gap between the answer of the public government compared to the citizens' needs that are clear since the first earlier stage of the pandemic event. The engagement level is very high since the first phase of the pandemic event;however, to be adequately developed, it requires specific and timing information that are not always in line with the citizens’ communication needs. Originality/value: This is the first research that aims to study the citizens' engagement in the Italian regions during the Covid-19 pandemic. © 2022, Silvia Fissi, Elena Gori and Alberto Romolini.