Communication is critical in a new health emergency because it motivates the public to take preventive actions. Prior research has shown that strategies including source credibility, information transparency and uncertainty reduction actions could enhance trust in health communication on social media. Yet research on how the government in China used these trust-building strategies to engage the public during the outbreak of COVID-19 is limited. Therefore, our exploratory study developed an integrated framework for conducting quantitative content analysis to examine how the most popular government-owned newspaper in China, People’s Daily, utilized a major social media platform, to engage the public. Our findings showed that accessibility to external links, provision of emotional support, and information on skills and resources were associated with increased public engagement with government COVID-19 posts. Insights gained can enable public health organizations and governments to focus on specific strategies to enhance public engagement.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health(social science)