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Effective Crisis Communication


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments PART I. THE CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATION Chapter 1. Defining Crisis Communication A Definition of Crisis Communication Expanding the Traditional Definition of Crisis Disasters, Emergencies, Crisis, and Risk Types of Crises The Significance of Crisis in a Global Environment Understanding the Misconceptions Associated With Crises and Crisis Communication Summary Chapter 2. Understanding Crisis Communication Theory and Practice Media Theories and Crisis Communication Organizational Theories of Crisis Communication Crisis Communication Theories That Describe, Explain, and Prescribe Understanding and Defining the Threat Bias in Crisis Communication Summary PART II. THE LESSONS AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION Chapter 3. Lessons on Effective Crisis Communication Determining Your Goals Partnering With Crisis Audiences Understanding the Diversity of Your Audiences Primary and Secondary Stakeholders Defined Communicating With Underrepresented Groups During Crises A Word on Partnerships and Listening What Information Do Stakeholders Need Following a Crisis? Is Certain Communication Always the Best Approach? Avoid Overreassuring Your Stakeholders Tell Your Stakeholders How to Protect Themselves Reducing and Intensifying Uncertainty Before, During, and After Organizational Crises Social Media and Effective Crisis Communication The Power of Positive Action Summary Chapter 4. Applying the Lessons to Produce Effective Crisis Communication Example 4.1. The Largest Environmental Crisis in United States History: BP and the United States Coast Guard Respond Example 4.2. A Plant Fire at Malden Mills Example 4.3. Long-Term Complexities in the Tainted Odwalla Apple Juice Crisis Example 4.4. What's in a Name?: Beef Products Incorporated Face "Pink Slime" Example 4.5. Rural Renewal After a Tornado in Greensburg, Kansas Example 4.6. A Costly YouTube Hoax for Domino's Pizza Chapter 5. Lessons on Managing Crisis Uncertainty Effectively Defining Uncertainty Unexpected Crises and Uncertainty Nonroutine Crisis Events and Uncertainty Threat Perception and Uncertainty Short Response Time and Uncertainty The Impact of Crisis-Induced Uncertainty on Stakeholders Managing Communication Ambiguity Ethically During Crisis Consistent Questions of Ambiguity Training, Simulations, and Uncertainty Belief Structures and Uncertainty Summary Chapter 6. Applying the Lessons for Managing Crisis Uncertainty Effectively Example 6.1. Tennessee Valley Authority and the Kingston Ash Slide Example 6.2. L'Aquila: A Case of Miscommunication Example 6.3. General Motors and Mary Barra Example 6.4. King Car's Response to the 2008 Melamine Crisis Example 6.5. Flint, Michigan, Water Contamination Example 6.6. Fukushima Daiichi: Uncertainty Created by Three Interrelated Crisis Events Chapter 7. Lessons on Effective Crisis Leadership The Importance of Effective Leadership Why Visibility Following a Crisis Is Important Developing Networks of Support Being Available, Open, and Honest The Impact of Leadership on Renewal Following a Crisis Ineffective Leadership During a Crisis What Makes an Effective Crisis Leader? Leadership Virtues Managing Uncertainty, Responding, Resolving, and Learning From Crisis Summary Chapter 8. Applying the Lessons for Developing Effective Crisis Leadership Example 8.1. The Sweeping Impact of a Contaminated Food Ingredient: Peanut Corporation of America Example 8.2. A Fire at Cole Hardwood Example 8.3. The Largest Food-Borne Illness Outbreak in History: Schwan's Sales Enterprises Example 8.4. Freedom Industries and the West Virginia Drinking Water Contamination Example 8.5. United Airlines: Failed Crisis Leadership Example 8.6. SeaWorld's Orca: A Symbol of Tragedy PART III. THE OPPORTUNITIES Chapter 9. Learning Through Failure Failing to Learn From Failure Learning Through Failure Vicarious Learning Organizational Memory Unlearning Summary Chapter 10. Risk Communication Distinguishing Between Risk and Crisis Identifying Risk Mindfulness Analyzing Multiple Audiences Convergence Theory and Risk Communication Responsible Risk Communication Summary Chapter 11. Responding to the Ethical Demands of Crisis Ethics Corporations as Moral Agents Values Values and Crisis Responsibility and Accountability Access to Information Humanism and Care The Role of Values in a Crisis Response Summary Chapter 12. Facilitating Renewal Through Effective Crisis Communication Considering the Opportunities Associated With Crisis Theoretical Components of the Discourse of Renewal Summary of the Discourse of Renewal The Discourse of Renewal and Crisis Planning Summary References Index About the Authors

About the Author

Robert R. Ulmer is Professor and Chair of the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also holds two secondary appointments in the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. His teaching, research, and consulting interests focus on creating effective risk and crisis communication through renewal, growth, collaboration, and opportunity. He has served as a consultant working with a wide variety of public, private, governmental, and not-for-profit organizations on how to effectively prepare for and manage risk and crises effectively. He has published articles in Management Communication Quarterly; Communication Yearbook; The Journal of Business Ethics; Public Relations Review; the Journal of Organizational Change Management; the Journal of Applied Communication Research; the Handbook of Crisis Communication; The Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication, The Encyclopedia of Public Relations; and The Handbook of Public Relations. Timothy L. Sellnow is Professor of Risk and Crisis Communication in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and currently serves as theme leader for the risk communication research team at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Center of Excellence sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. Sellnow's primary research and teaching focus is on risk and crisis communication. Much of his recent research focuses on strategic communication for mitigating the impact of and maintaining resilience in response to potential terrorist attacks-particularly bioterrorism. His work on crisis, risk, and communication has appeared in the Handbook of Crisis and Risk Communication; International Encyclopedia of Communication; Communication Yearbook, Public Relations Review; Communication Studies; Journal of Business Ethics; and many others. Sellnow is the co-author of three books on crisis and risk communication and is the past editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research. Matthew W. Seeger is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Wayne State University. His research interests concern crisis and risk communication, crisis response and agency coordination, health communication, the role of media in crisis, crisis and communication ethics, failure of complex systems, and post-crisis renewal. He has worked closely with the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on communication and the anthrax attack and on communication and pandemic influenza preparedness. He is an affiliate of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense where he studies issues of food safety and recalls. His work has appeared in the Handbook of Crisis and Risk Communication, International Encyclopedia of Communication, Journal of Health Communication Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and the Journal of Organizational Change Management, among many others. Seeger is the author or co-author of five books on crisis and risk communication.

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