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This article analyses the use of social networks as a public relations strategy within the framework of a crisis communication strategy deployed following a terrorist attack. More specifically, the Twitter account of the Police of Catalonia (@mossos) is analysed in view of the attacks that took place in Barcelona and Cambrils in August 2017. Methodologically, content analysis of the Catalan police’s Twitter account is performed through the collection and subsequent analysis of messages issued in the 10-day period following the first attack. Additionally, and as a result of this research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight experts in crisis communication, with the aim of determining, within the framework of this case study, the functions and uses of social networks in the context of crises caused by terrorist attacks. The results show how, in a context of crisis communication, the messages posted by the Mossos d’Esquadra’s Twitter account transcend mere service information to become an asset of public relations, engagement and constant interaction and mutual collaboration and dialogue between the Catalan police and the population that it administers. As a whole, this has an impact on the improvement of the image and reputation of the Catalan police among its fellow citizens.
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