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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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Content available
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.

Details

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

Keywords

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.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 January 2020

Jacek Barlik

The purpose of this paper is to find out how organizations communicate with their opponents during crises and later.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find out how organizations communicate with their opponents during crises and later.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research that is interviews with crisis communication professionals in Poland was conducted to explore their opinions, attitudes and practices toward opponents in crises, communication tools employed, methods of settling conflicts and ways of getting along with the former opponents later.

Findings

Communication and crisis managers provided in-depth insights on how they approach opponents during crises and later. Even though public relations professionals are aware that communicating with activist or hostile publics in times of turmoil is important, they pay more attention to internal publics and media. Senior executives often perceive media and journalists as crucial channels to reach out to different stakeholder groups during crises. Ongoing communication with opponents (or former opponents) – also after crises – mostly remains a high call for public relations professionals.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to corporate and crisis communication research by presenting how opponent publics are handled by communication professionals in crises. It shows that most organizations need to rethink their crisis strategies to include opponents in their relationship building, and to maintain these relationships with former opponents beyond the time of crisis.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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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…

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

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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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Paulina Palttala and Marita Vos

The purpose of this paper is to test a measurement system with performance indicators to improve organizational learning about crisis communication by public organizations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test a measurement system with performance indicators to improve organizational learning about crisis communication by public organizations enhancing public safety in large scale emergencies. The tool can be used to conduct a preparedness audit or to evaluate communication performance in a real situation or in an emergency exercise. Evaluation is part of the strategic planning and development of crisis communication.

Design/methodology/approach

The construction of the instrument and its theoretical underpinnings are first explained, after which the series of empirical tests that were implemented to scrutinize the clarity and appropriateness of the indicators as well as the usability of the instrument are presented. The process approach to crisis management, in which the various phases of a crisis are seen as a continuum, and the stakeholder perspective, in which both the diversity of public groups and the network of response organizations are taken into account, are applied in the paper.

Findings

The tests of the instrument revealed much interest in its use, and it was seen as a potential tool for the improvement by public organizations of their crisis communication. The tests led to improvements in the structure as well as in the phrasing of the individual performance indicators and their explanation. The indicators were considered relevant and important but too many in number. Therefore, a possibility to use the instrument in three separate parts, relating respectively to the period before, during and after a crisis, should be offered.

Research limitations/implications

This study addresses the main factors relevant for crisis communication with respect to the approach chosen, but does not report all the literature and empirical findings that validate the individual indicators as this has been done in other publications. It also presents a series of first test findings but not as yet the results of improvements initiated by using the instrument.

Practical implications

The instrument developed shows weak and strong points in crisis communication on the level of single indicators, but also allows comparison of performance in different phases and for the various stakeholder groups, showing where more attention is needed. The instrument developed will be available on an open web site and users will be asked to make the measurement results, rendered anonymous, available for its further improvement.

Social implications

The paper contributes to effectiveness of emergency management by testing an instrument to facilitate learning about crisis communication.

Originality/value

Much of the crisis communication literature focuses on reputation crises. This paper discusses crisis communication supporting crisis management in the case of disasters and other emergencies that are handled by a response network instead a single organization. It provides a clear framework for analysing and assessing the quality of crisis communication and stimulates and thus enables learning and further improvement.

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2007

J. Paulo Moreira

The paper aims to contribute to the development of a systematic framework of analysis pertaining to the relationship between public health crisis (PHC) and scares and…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to contribute to the development of a systematic framework of analysis pertaining to the relationship between public health crisis (PHC) and scares and corporate communication practice. It aims to clarify the complex relationship between public health policy development and corporate crisis and risk communication issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review in the fields of crisis communication, crisis and risk management and public health policy; the multidisciplinary approach provided principles for a framework of analysis.

Findings

The framework proposed identifies fields of intersection between governments, corporations, the media and the experts in the context of risk perception management providing inputs for both public health policy and corporate communication new developments.

Research limitations/implications

The need for further research arises from the identification of the different areas of intersection between governments, corporations, the media and the experts and further elucidation of its dynamics should be pursued.

Originality/value

The framework builds a bridge between disciplines that have not been articulated for the practice inherent in public health and scares‐related communication issues. It proposes a multidisciplinary framework of analysis applicable to any type of PHC or scare.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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