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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Harald Hornmoen and Per Helge Måseide

The chapter addresses the question of how crisis and emergency communicators in the justice (police) and health sector in Norway reflect on their use – or lack of use – of…

Abstract

The chapter addresses the question of how crisis and emergency communicators in the justice (police) and health sector in Norway reflect on their use – or lack of use – of social media during the terror crisis on 22 July 2011. We examine how these communicators in the years following the crisis have developed their use of social media to optimise their and the public’s awareness of similar crises. Our semi-structured interviews with key emergency managers and responders display how the terrorist-induced crisis in 2011 was a wake-up call for communicators in the police and the health sector. They reflect on the significance, strengths and weaknesses of social media in the management of crises such as this one.

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Social Media Use in Crisis and Risk Communication
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-269-1

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Content available
Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Eva Goldgruber, Susanne Sackl-Sharif, Julian Ausserhofer and Robert Gutounig

Using and understanding social media in the context of networked publics enhances crisis communication. This chapter describes models and ideas for integrating social…

Abstract

Using and understanding social media in the context of networked publics enhances crisis communication. This chapter describes models and ideas for integrating social media into the communication strategies of rescue organisations. The authors develop their recommendations for the use of social media by these organisations from both a summary and comparison of communication processes during the 2013 Central European floods in Austria, and from the perspective of an organisation actively using social media in the chosen model region of Alkoven. The chapter presents basic recommendations, recommendations inspired by content strategy and recommendations based on web and social media literacy in order to support the further development of crisis communication in the digital age.

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Social Media Use in Crisis and Risk Communication
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-269-1

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Sarah Ecklebe and Natascha Löffler

The purpose of this paper is to explore employees' perceptions of the quality of internal communication in German organizations during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore employees' perceptions of the quality of internal communication in German organizations during the Covid-19 pandemic. In this context, the paper aims to identify antecedents and outcomes of high-quality internal communication during the pandemic. In doing so, it draws important practical and theoretical implications for pandemic-era communication, particularly surrounding issues such as employees' needs and strategic approaches to communication during the pandemic, as well as the effects of successful internal (crisis) communication.

Design/methodology/approach

A representative survey was conducted on employees (n = 934) working at different types of organizations in Germany. After a dimensionality check was conducted through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the proposed hypotheses were tested by conducting a structural equation model (SEM) using the R package lavaan.

Findings

This study identifies several antecedents of high-quality internal communication during the Covid-19 crisis, such as the frequency of communication at the beginning and during the pandemic, the dissemination of substantial information, participative communication and a clear rejection of secrecy. Furthermore, the findings show that high-quality internal communication has a positive impact on the employee–organization relationship (EOR).

Originality/value

This study suggests that strategic alignment of internal communications during the Covid-19 pandemic is crucial: by considering a number of factors, organizations can positively influence employees' perceptions of the quality of their internal communication. In terms of theoretical implications, this study discusses how the concept of high-quality internal communication can be operationalized and explores the outcomes that this can generate.

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Journal of Communication Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Mats Heide and Charlotte Simonsson

The aim of this paper is to contribute with increased knowledge of the complex role of internal communication during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. More…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to contribute with increased knowledge of the complex role of internal communication during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, the authors want to address the following research questions. How can the overall approach to internal crisis communication during the pandemic be interpreted, and what view of internal crisis communication does this approach reflect? What has been characteristic of the leadership communication during the pandemic? What do coworkers think of their communication role and how well does the internal communication support that role?

Design/methodology/approach

This article is based on a case study of an authority with 1,000 employees. The empirical material consists of both documents and interviews. The analyzed documents include steering documents, e-mails to managers from the support function and newsletters from the top manager. The 17 interviews comprise managers, coworkers and communication managers. All interviews were recorded and the authors have conducted verbatim transcriptions.

Findings

The pandemic is an example of a wicked problem that involves a lot of ambiguity. Often organizations try to handle wicked problems by trying to control it through traditional management skills and practices. A pandemic demands a leadership, culture and communicative approach that highlights the importance of coworkers. In the studied organization the authors found knowledge and rhetoric about the value of coworkers and communicative coworkership. However, top management does not encourage, support and award practices that are in line with the espoused culture. The key to success is top managers that walk the talk and act as role models.

Practical implications

Crisis managers and crisis communicators need to focus more on improvisation, flexibility, listening and how to approach and make sense of the uncertain. In general, there is a tendency to rely too much on simple tools and to oversimplify complexity. Complex crises such as the pandemic raise new demands on leadership. Effective crisis leadership in a complex crisis seems to be much more democratic and collaborative than often assumed. If coworkers are expected to act as ambassadors or organizational representatives, they also need to be given better support for that role.

Originality/value

This article highlights the importance of closing the gap between espoused and enacted culture in order to change from a managerialistic internal crisis communication to a process internal crisis communication approach.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Sabine Einwiller, Christopher Ruppel and Julia Stranzl

Based on social exchange theory, the study examines the influence of informational and relational internal communication on cognitive and affective responses and job…

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2380

Abstract

Purpose

Based on social exchange theory, the study examines the influence of informational and relational internal communication on cognitive and affective responses and job engagement during organizational crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by means of an online survey among people working in organizations with a minimum of 10 employees (N = 1,033) and analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Results show that informational and relational communication as organizational resources have a significant but distinct influence on how employees support their employer during the crisis. While informational communication influences employees' acceptance of managerial decisions, relational communication exerts most influence on affective commitment, which is the strongest driver of job engagement.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design, specific crisis situation and geographic location are limitations of the study.

Practical implications

Delivering relevant information to employees quickly and reliably is important. Yet, relationship-oriented communication that demonstrates appreciation and allows for participation has even stronger effects on job engagement, which is essential to mastering challenges arising from a crisis.

Social implications

During the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations demanded much from their employees. In exchange, organizations should provide the resources information, status and love (Foa and Foa, 1980) by means of internal crisis communication.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates the role of different types of internal communication during organizational crises used to convey organizational resources, and it highlights the mediating role of acceptance and commitment to enhance employees' engagement at work.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Brittany Haupt and Lauren Azevedo

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of crisis communication and management along with its inclusion into the field and practice of emergency management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of crisis communication and management along with its inclusion into the field and practice of emergency management. This paper also discusses the inclusion of nonprofit organizations and the need for these organizations to engage in crisis communication planning and strategy creation to address the diverse and numerous crises that nonprofits are at risk of experiencing.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilizes a systematic literature review of crisis communication planning tools and resources focused on nonprofit organizations to derive best practices and policy needs.

Findings

The resources analyzed provide foundational insight for nonprofit organizations to proactively develop plans and strategies during noncrisis periods to support their organization when a crisis occurs.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this paper include limited academic research and practical resources related to nonprofit organizations and crisis communication planning. As such, several potential avenues for empirical research are discussed.

Practical implications

This paper provides considerations for nonprofit organizations engaging in crisis communication planning and aspects leaders need to partake in to reduce or eliminate the risk of facing an operational or reputational crisis.

Social implications

This paper highlights the critical need to generate a crisis communication plan due to the diverse crises nonprofit organizations face and their connection to the emergency management structure. Understanding the crisis and utilizing a crisis communication plan allows nonprofit organizations a way to strategically mitigate the impact of a crisis while also providing essential services to their respective communities and maintain their overall stability.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in its analysis of crisis communication planning resources and creation of a planning framework to assist nonprofit organizations in their planning efforts.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Ansgar Thiessen and Diana Ingenhoff

The purpose of this paper is to address the often missing theoretical foundation of crisis communication from an integrated perspective on the micro, meso and macro level…

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11954

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the often missing theoretical foundation of crisis communication from an integrated perspective on the micro, meso and macro level. Based on the theory of structuration, a systematic, integrative framework is developed for safeguarding organizational legitimization and multidimensional reputation through communication during crisis situations which is applicable both for profit and non‐profit organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Gidden's theory of structuration was chosen as a basis to develop the integrative model of crisis communication that proposes a communicative impact on reputation on a situative level of message strategies (micro level), an organizational level (meso level) and a societal level (macro level). A well‐organized crisis communication management on all of these levels is seen as the key communicative driver to safeguard long‐term organizational reputation.

Findings

The paper shows that successful crisis communication management must be conceptualized and addressed on distinctive levels of complexity. While on a message level (situative crisis communication) it creates meaning, crisis communication must be seen as management task on an organizational level (integrative crisis communication). However, in order to fully safeguard reputation in the long term and trustworthiness in the short term, crisis communication has also a societal component when addressing moral standards and norms (strategic crisis communication).

Research limitations/implications

The paper is a conceptual contribution which build the basis of a follow‐up empirical, experimental study where the proposed model is successfully tested.

Practical implications

For PR managers, this paper gives reasons to conceptualize crisis communication management, not only on a message strategy level, but also to take into consideration the organizational and societal levels.

Originality/value

The paper stands in line with the theoretical discourse of organizational crisis communication. So far, few approaches conceptualize organizational crisis communication thoroughly on an integrated level of different perspectives so that the paper provides an important input, pushing the discussion forward.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Damir Jugo

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practices of strategic crisis communication of most successful Croatian companies and the perception of these practices from…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practices of strategic crisis communication of most successful Croatian companies and the perception of these practices from the perspective of media. A framework of reactive strategies is applied to determine how Croatian companies from five major industries would communicate during crisis situations and how their communication is interpreted within the media as a group that conveys and presents their behavior and communication to the broader public.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative survey among 60 individuals in charge of communications in Croatian companies was conducted to identify which strategies they are likely to use when in crisis situations. In-depth interviews with 20 journalists regularly reporting on these companies were undertaken to determine their perception and experiences regarding how these companies would communicate during crisis situations.

Findings

Croatian companies are likely to communicate un-strategically, passively and without any risk. Journalists see the communication of the companies even more passive and reactive which seriously influences the manner they report about these companies during crisis situations.

Research limitations/implications

Although 60 companies and 20 journalists both represent a significantly representative sample in Croatian terms, the study provides an insight into only Croatian corporate environment. Conducting the research in different surroundings and other countries could provide additional insight. Nevertheless, the analyzed variables that influenced the selection of strategies provide notable insight for drawing conclusions on this subject.

Originality/value

Besides showing how analyzed companies are likely to communicate during crises, this paper provides an insight into the media’s perception of this communication. The research has shown that the media sees their communication as more passive and reactive than it actually is, which implicates a serious need of shift in communication patterns if these companies want to strive to gain mutual understanding and remotely positive attitude from the media during crisis situations.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

Mats Heide and Charlotte Simonsson

The article has two major purposes. The first purpose is to examine the roles and practices of communication professionals in relation to internal aspects of crisis

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15424

Abstract

Purpose

The article has two major purposes. The first purpose is to examine the roles and practices of communication professionals in relation to internal aspects of crisis communication. The second is to suggest new roles and practices for communication professionals that will enable a strategic approach to internal crisis communication. This article is based on empirical material from a larger three-year research project that focuses on internal crisis communication at a university hospital (UH) in Sweden.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is based on empirical material from a larger, three-year research project that focuses on internal crisis communication at a university hospital (UH). For the purpose of this article the authors have mainly analysed transcripts of 24 semi-structured interviews that lasted 1-1.5 hours each. The authors chose to interview both communication professionals and other key persons/crisis managers in order to have the role and practices of communication professionals elucidated not only from the perspective of communication professionals themselves.

Findings

A conclusion from the case study is that communication professionals have a rather limited role in internal crisis communication. Their role is primarily focused on information distribution through the intranet, even though they are also involved in strategic managerial work during the acute stage of the crisis. The communication professionals are first and foremost called for once the crisis has already occurred, which can be seen as a “communication on demand” approach, which limits a strategic orientation. In this paper some new roles and practices for communication professionals are suggested, which involve a strategic approach and cover all the stages of crisis.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to go deeper into the practices and processes of these roles.

Practical implications

Important prerequisites for fulfilling a strategic role as a communication professional are membership of the board, diversified communication roles, a developed managerial role, being closer to core operations, and legitimacy.

Originality/value

The absence of a strategic crisis management thinking and discourse in organisations delimits communication professionals to a technical role rather than a managerial and strategic role. Taking internal crisis communication seriously and adopting a broader view of crises will raise new demands on communication professionals, which go beyond the operational and tactical roles in the acute phase of a crisis.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2004

Fei‐Wen Ho and Kirk Hallahan

This study examines gestures, themes, message copy points and imagery, and strategy motives reflected in corporate advertising appearing in the China Times and United…

Abstract

This study examines gestures, themes, message copy points and imagery, and strategy motives reflected in corporate advertising appearing in the China Times and United Daily News, two leading newspapers, in the month following the devastating Chin‐Chin earthquake in Taiwan in September 1999. The study identified four possible corporate strategy motives in post‐crisis corporate communications: social responsibility, communal relationship building, enlightened self‐interest and impression management. A content analysis of adverts (n=100) suggested communal relationship building drove corporate advertising endeavours. Corporate philanthropy was the most common gesture described in the adverts, and the most frequent themes and message components focused on the restoration of society. No significant differences were found between companies headquartered in Taiwan versus elsewhere, or between companies headquartered in Asia versus the West. Implications for examining crisis communications and underlying motives behind public relations communications are discussed.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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