How to tackle crisis and risk in the best way as a government in the age of social media? Based on the German federal government’s online crisis communication on the crash of Germanwings flight 4U9525, this working paper analyses the role of political crisis communications online and in social media. In the framework of a comprehensive case study, the communication of all official parties related to this accident is shed light on and associated with the prior identified aspects of political online crisis communications. It was brought to light that online/digital communications and social media further aggravate the explosive power of crisis PR. However, at the same time, a large potential and many opportunities present themselves for all players to react appropriately.


Politische Kommunikation, Digitale Kommunikation, Online-Krisenkommunikation, Krisen-PR, Social Media, Deutschland, Bundesregierung