The role of the government in implementing public communication was important when handling COVID-19, both as a method of prevention and as a form of persuasion to adopt COVID-19 vaccination. This was undertaken by the Sleman Regency Government through public relations, with the appointment of a spokesperson for the COVID-19 Task Force and the active formulation of strategies in government communication regarding the handling and prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic through social media. This shows the importance of public communication by digital-based governments during a pandemic. This study aims to determine the social media-based communication model of the Sleman Regency Government when handling COVID-19. This research uses a descriptive qualitative approach with a case study method. Data collection was carried out through in-depth interviews and FGDs with public relations staff of the Sleman Regency Government, Regional Apparatus Organizations (OPD), and the people of Sleman. The analysis technique uses the Miles and Huberman model, consisting of three streams of activities that occur simultaneously: data reduction, data presentation, and drawing conclusions/ verification using source triangulation techniques. The results of the study show that government communication activities carried out by the Sleman Regent have a great influence and are trusted to convey information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be seen on social media (on Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, @KabarSleman, and on Instagram @HumasSleman), where warnings related to COVID-19 were routinely conveyed to the fullest extent by the Regent of Sleman Regency. In addition, public relations still involves conventional media such as newspapers, outdoor media and digital outdoor media such as LED screens. The novelty of this research is in the notion that the government must have one voice in public communication, even though it uses various channels. Information provided to the public is designed to follow central government appeals, and must have the same news value so as not to cause public confusion.
Authors contributing to Public Policy and Administration agree to publish their articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public (CC BY-NC-ND) License, allowing third parties to share their work (copy, distribute, transmit) and to adapt it, under the condition that the authors are given credit, and that in the event of reuse or distribution, the terms of this licence are made clear.