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  1. 1. The Handbook of Crisis Communication
  2. 2. Handbooks in Communication and MediaThis series aims to provide theoretically ambitious but accessible volumesdevoted to the major fields and subfields within communication and mediastudies. Each volume sets out to ground and orientate the student through abroad range of specially commissioned chapters, and also to provide the moreexperienced scholar and teacher with a convenient and comprehensive overviewof the latest trends and critical directions.The Handbook of Children, Media, and Development, edited by Sandra L.Calvert and Barbara J. WilsonThe Handbook of Crisis Communication, edited by W. Timothy Coombs andSherry J. HolladayForthcomingThe Handbook of Critical Intercultural Communication, edited byRona Halualani and Thomas NakayamaThe Handbook of Global Communication and Media Ethics, edited byRobert Fortner and Mark FacklerThe Handbook of Global Research Methods, edited by Ingrid VolkmerThe Handbook in International Advertising Research, edited by Hong ChengThe Handbook of Internet Studies, edited by Robert Burnett, Mia Consalvo,and Charles EssThe Handbook of Rhetorical and Public Address, edited by Shawn Parry-Giles
  3. 3. The Handbook of Crisis Communication Edited byW. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication
  4. 4. This edition first published 2010© 2010 Blackwell Publishing LtdBlackwell Publishing was acquired by John Wiley & Sons in February 2007.Blackwell’s publishing program has been merged with Wiley’s global Scientific,Technical, and Medical business to form Wiley-Blackwell.Registered OfficeJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex,PO19 8SQ, United KingdomEditorial Offices350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148–5020, USA9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UKThe Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UKFor details of our global editorial offices, for customer services, and for informationabout how to apply for permission to reuse the copyright material in this book pleasesee our website at www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell.The right of W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay to be identified as theauthors of the editorial material in this work has been asserted in accordance withthe Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, except as permitted by the UK Copyright,Designs and Patents Act 1988, without the prior permission of the publisher.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content thatappears in print may not be available in electronic books.Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed astrademarks. All brand names and product names used in this book are trade names,service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Thepublisher is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. Thispublication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard tothe subject matter covered. It is sold on the understanding that the publisher is notengaged in rendering professional services. If professional advice or other expertassistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataThe handbook of crisis communication / edited by W. Timothy Coombs andSherry J. Holladay. p. cm. — (Handbooks in communication and media) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-4051-9441-9 (hbk. : alk. paper) 1. Crisis management.2. Communication in management. I. Coombs, W. Timothy.II. Holladay, Sherry J. HD49.H35 2010 658.4′5—dc22 2009041493A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.Set in 10/13pt Galliard by Graphicraft Limited, Hong KongPrinted in Singapore01 2010
  5. 5. ContentsNotes on Contributors ixPreface xxviAcknowledgments xxviiiIntroduction 1Robert L. HeathPart I Crisis and Allied Fields 15 1 Parameters for Crisis Communication 17 W. Timothy Coombs 2 Crisis Communication and Its Allied Fields 54 W. Timothy Coombs 3 Crisis Communication Research in Public Relations Journals: Tracking Research Trends Over Thirty Years 65 Seon-Kyoung An and I-Huei ChengPart II Methodological Variety 91Case Studies 4 Organizational Networks in Disaster Response: An Examination of the US Government Network’s Efforts in Hurricane Katrina 93 Gabriel L. Adkins 5 Regaining Altitude: A Case Analysis of the JetBlue Airways Valentine’s Day 2007 Crisis 115 Gregory G. EfthimiouTextual Analysis 6 The Press as Agent of Cultural Repair: A Textual Analysis of News Coverage of the Virginia Tech Shootings 141 Mohamad H. Elmasry and Vidhi Chaudhri
  6. 6. vi ContentsContent Analysis 7 Are They Practicing What We Are Preaching? An Investigation of Crisis Communication Strategies in the Media Coverage of Chemical Accidents 159 Sherry J. HolladayExperimental 8 Examining the Effects of Mutability and Framing on Perceptions of Human Error and Technical Error Crises: Implications for Situational Crisis Communication Theory 181 W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay 9 How Do Past Crises Affect Publics’ Perceptions of Current Events? An Experiment Testing Corporate Reputation During an Adverse Event 205 J. Drew Elliot10 Crisis Response Effectiveness: Methodological Considerations for Advancement in Empirical Investigation into Response Impact 221 Tomasz A. Fediuk, Kristin M. Pace, and Isabel C. BoteroPart III The Practice 24311 “We tell people. It’s up to them to be prepared.” Public Relations Practices of Local Emergency Managers 245 Robert Littlefield, Katherine Rowan, Shari R. Veil, Lorraine Kisselburgh, Kimberly Beauchamp, Kathleen Vidoloff, Marie L. Dick, Theresa Russell-Loretz, Induk Kim, Angelica Ruvarac, Quian Wang, Toni Siriko Hoang, Bonita Neff, Teri Toles-Patkin, Rod Troester, Shama Hyder, Steven Venette, and Timothy L. Sellnow12 Thirty Common Basic Elements of Crisis Management Plans: Guidelines for Handling the Acute Stage of “Hard” Emergencies at the Tactical Level 261 Alexander G. NikolaevPart IV Specific Applications 283Organizational Contexts13 Oil Industry Crisis Communication 285 Michelle Maresh and David E. Williams14 Educational Crisis Management Practices Tentatively Embrace the New Media 301 Barbara S. Gainey15 FEMA and the Rhetoric of Redemption: New Directions in Crisis Communication Models for Government Agencies 319 Elizabeth Johnson Avery and Ruthann W. Lariscy
  7. 7. Contents viiCrisis Communication and Race16 Effective Public Relations in Racially Charged Crises: Not Black or White 335 Brooke Fisher Liu17 Public Relations and Reputation Management in a Crisis Situation: How Denny’s Restaurants Reinvigorated the Firm’s Corporate Identity 359 Ali M. Kanso, Steven R. Levitt, and Richard Alan NelsonPart V Technology and Crisis Communication 37918 New Media for Crisis Communication: Opportunities for Technical Translation, Dialogue, and Stakeholder Responses 381 Keri K. Stephens and Patty Malone19 Organizational and Media Use of Technology During Fraud Crises 396 Christopher Caldiero, Maureen Taylor, and Lia Ungureanu20 Organizational Use of New Communication Technology in Product Recall Crises 410 Maureen TaylorPart VI Global Crisis Communication 42321 Crisis Communication, Complexity, and the Cartoon Affair: A Case Study 425 Finn Frandsen and Winni Johansen22 Crisis Communication and Terrorist Attacks: Framing a Response to the 2004 Madrid Bombings and 2005 London Bombings 449 María José Canel and Karen Sanders23 Negotiating Global Citizenship: Mattel’s 2007 Recall Crisis 467 Patricia A. Curtin24 Celebrating Expulsions? Crisis Communication in the Swedish Migration Board 489 Orla VigsøPart VII Theory Development 50925 Crisis Communicators in Change: From Plans to Improvisations 511 Jesper Falkheimer and Mats Heide26 Contingency Theory of Strategic Conflict Management: Directions for the Practice of Crisis Communication from a Decade of Theory Development, Discovery, and Dialogue 527 Augustine Pang, Yan Jin, and Glen T. Cameron27 Crisis-Adaptive Public Information: A Model for Reliability in Chaos 550 Suzanne Horsley
  8. 8. viii Contents28 Communicating Before a Crisis: An Exploration of Bolstering, CSR, and Inoculation Practices 568 Shelley Wigley and Michael Pfau29 Who Suffers? The Effect of Injured Party on Attributions of Crisis Responsibility 591 Sun-A Park and María E. Len-Ríos30 The Dialectics of Organizational Crisis Management 607 Charles Conrad, Jane Stuart Baker, Chris Cudahy, and Jennifer Willyard31 Exploring Crisis from a Receiver Perspective: Understanding Stakeholder Reactions During Crisis Events 635 Tomasz A. Fediuk, W. Timothy Coombs, and Isabel C. Botero32 Credibility Seeking through an Interorganizational Alliance: Instigating the Fen-Phen Confrontation Crisis 657 Timothy L. Sellnow, Shari R. Veil, and Renae A. StreifelPart VIII Future Research Directions 67533 Future Directions of Crisis Communication Research: Emotions in Crisis – The Next Frontier 677 Yan Jin and Augustine Pang34 Complexity and Crises: A New Paradigm 683 Dawn R. Gilpin and Priscilla Murphy35 Considering the Future of Crisis Communication Research: Understanding the Opportunities Inherent to Crisis Events through the Discourse of Renewal 691 Robert R. Ulmer, Timothy L. Sellnow, and Matthew W. Seeger36 Toward a Holistic Organizational Approach to Understanding Crisis 698 Maureen Taylor37 What is a Public Relations “Crisis”? Refocusing Crisis Research 705 Michael L. Kent38 Crisis and Learning 713 Larsåke Larsson39 Pursuing Evidence-Based Crisis Communication 719 W. Timothy CoombsAfterword 726Name Index 728Subject Index 732
  9. 9. Notes on ContributorsGabriel L. Adkins (MA, Wichita State University) is currently a doctoral can-didate at the University of Oklahoma. His research interests include organizationalcommunication, interorganizational networking, intercultural communication,crisis communication, and communication technology. His other forthcomingpublications examine issues such as the role of communication and technology inbusiness continuity planning, employee resistance to organizational control of non-work-related behaviors, and the role of communication technology in advancingmonoculturalism and cyborgism in postmodern society. His most recent workinvolves an examination of the role of collaborative relationship building amonginterorganizational networks in disaster planning and the development of resist-ant and resilient communities.Seon-Kyoung An (PhD, University of Alabama) is a research assistant at theUniversity of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her research interests include crisiscommunication, organizational response strategies, anger and emotion manage-ment, new technologies and online communication, advertising and public relationseffects, news frames, entertainment-education campaigns, and health communi-cation. Her work has appeared in Public Relations Review, Korean Journal ofJournalism and Communication Studies, Korean Journal of Public RelationsResearch, and Speech and Communication. Before joining the doctoral course in theUniversity of Alabama in 2006, she was an instructor in Kyung Hee Universityand Seoul Women’s University, and participated as a research fellow in variousresearch projects sponsored by the Korean Broadcasting Institute, Brain Korea 21Project, Korean Broadcasting Advertising, and Government Youth Commission.Elizabeth Johnson Avery (PhD, University of Georgia) is an Assistant Professorin the School of Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Com-munication and Information at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Avery’s researchutilizes persuasion and public opinion theory to enhance public relations practiceand research, specifically in political and public health campaign contexts, including
  10. 10. x Notes on Contributorsnegativity in political campaigns, young voters’ political involvement, reaching dis-parate populations with health information, health crisis communication, practiceof public information officers at health departments, and use of new technologyfor health information. Her research has been published in the Journal of PublicRelations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Journalismand Mass Communication Educator, Health Communication, Journal of CurrentIssues and Research in Advertising, Journal of Advertising, Cancer Control, andInformation, Communication and Society.Jane Stuart Baker (MA, University of Houston) is a doctoral candidate in organ-izational communication at Texas A&M University and will begin a facultyposition at the University of Alabama in fall 2009. Her current research programaddresses issues of diversity and group communication in organizations. Herdissertation is titled, “Are We Celebrating Diversity or Conformity? A Bona FideGroup Perspective of Corporate Diversity Networks.” Her work has appeared inRhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations and Applied HealthCommunication. In 2006, she was granted the John “Sam” Keltner Award forMost Outstanding Student Paper by the Peace and Conflict Division of the NationalCommunication Association.Kimberly Beauchamp (BS, North Dakota State University) is currently a gradu-ate student at NDSU with specific interests in risk and crisis communication,health communication, emergency preparedness, food safety, and food protectionand defense. She is completing a double MS degree in mass communication andfood safety at NDSU. Beauchamp is a 2007–9 National Needs Fellow throughthe Great Plains Institute of Food Safety. She currently serves as the Budget Directorand Information Officer for the Risk and Crisis Communication Project Office –NDSU site under the direction of Robert S. Littlefield, and participates inresearch funded by the Department of Homeland Security.Isabel C. Botero (PhD, Michigan State University) is an assistant professor in theSchool of Communication at Illinois State University. Her research interests includeunderstanding dynamic functions and communication behaviors of leaders in teams,perceptions of justice in work teams, voice and silence as information sharing mech-anisms in the organization, and influence processes in the organization. Her workhas appeared in Communication Monographs, Journal of Management Studies, andManagement Communication Quarterly.Christopher Caldiero (PhD, Rutgers University) is an Assistant Professor ofCommunication Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. Hisresearch interests include crisis communication, organizational communication,and rhetorical analysis. His work has appeared in the American CommunicationJournal, Public Relations Review, and the Journal of Public Relations Research.Glen T. Cameron (PhD, University of Texas) is Gregory Chair in JournalismResearch and Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia. Cameron has authored more than 300 articles, chapters, conference
  11. 11. Notes on Contributors xipapers, and books on public relations and health communication topics. His newestbook, Public Relations Today: Managing Competition and Conflict (2008),focuses on strategic conflict management across the lifecycle of public relationsissues. Cameron’s best-selling Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics is adoptedat over 250 universities in the US, with translations in Chinese, Spanish, Russian,Hindi, Romanian, Latvian, Serbian, and Greek. His Health CommunicationResearch Center participates in over $38 million of external funding, fromsources such as NIH, NCI, Missouri Foundation for Health, USDA, CDC, NIDR,the US Department of Defense, and Monsanto.María José Canel (PhD, University of Navarra, Spain) is Professor of Com-munication and Public Relations at Madrid Complutense University, Spain. Shehas published nationally and internationally on government communication andrelated matters (relations with the media, media effects, corporate communica-tion strategies): Opinión Pública, Comunicación Política, Retrato de la profesiónperiodística, Morality Tales: Political Scandals in Britain and Spain in the 1990s(co-authored); Comunicación de las instituciones públicas. Her work has alsoappeared in Local Government Studies, Journal of Political Communication,European Journal of Communication, and Journalism: Theory, Practice andCriticism. She is Vice-President of the Political Communication Section of theInternational Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR) andPresident of ACOP (Asociación de Comunicación Política). She has practicalexperience in strategic communications for public institutions, having served asChief of the Minister’s Cabinet for the Spanish Minister for Education, Culture,and Sport (2000–4).Vidhi Chaudhri (MA, Purdue University) is a doctoral candidate in organizationalcommunication and public relations at Purdue University. Her research interestsinclude corporate social responsibility, business ethics, globalization, and organ-izational rhetoric. Her work has appeared in Management CommunicationQuarterly, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, and Place Branding and PublicDiplomacy. She was also named a 2009 Alan H. Monroe Graduate Scholar for pro-fessional scholarship by the Department of Communication, Purdue University.I-Huei Cheng (PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia) is Assistant Professor inthe Department of Advertising at the National Chengchi University (NCCU), Taipei,Taiwan. Dr. Cheng’s research interests center around health communication, infor-mation processing, and public relations, including risk management, communi-cation ethics, and academic–industry relationships. Her work has appeared inJournalism and Mass Communication Educator, Public Relations Review, and Journalof Public Relations Research. Forthcoming publications include research in theInternational Journal of Advertising, Journal of Health Communication, andHealth Communication. Prior to joining NCCU, she was on the faculty at theUniversity of Alabama and also taught at the University Kansas.Charles Conrad is Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University andformer editor of Management Communication Quarterly. He teaches classes
  12. 12. xii Notes on Contributorsin organizational communication, organizational rhetoric, and communication,power, and politics. His research focuses on the symbolic processes throughwhich organizations influence popular attitudes and public policies. He currentlyis working on two book manuscripts, Organizational Rhetoric: Resistance andDomination, and In the Long Run We’re All Dead: Organizations, Rhetoric, andHealth Policymaking.W. Timothy Coombs (PhD, Purdue University) is a Professor in the Departmentof Communication Studies at Eastern Illinois University. He is the 2002 recipientof the Jackson, Jackson, & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize from the PublicRelations Society of America for his crisis research, which has led to the develop-ment and testing of situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). He hasconducted crisis-related work for the federal government and lectured on crisiscommunication in the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Dr. Coombs has publishedwidely in the areas of crisis management and preparedness, including articles inthe Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, InternationalJournal of Strategic Communication, Journal of Public Affairs, Management Com-munication Quarterly, Journal of Business Communication, Journal of Com-munication Management, and Corporate Reputation Review. His award-winningbooks include Ongoing Crisis Communication and Code Red in the Boardroom:Crisis Management as Organizational DNA, It’s Not Just Public Relations:Public Relations in Society (co-authored with Sherry J. Holladay), and Today’sPublic Relations (co-authored with Robert Heath). He and Sherry have alsoco-authored PR Strategy and Application: Managing Influence. He also edited thePSI Handbook of Business Security.Chris Cudahy is a doctoral student at Texas A&M University.Patricia A. Curtin (PhD, University of Georgia) is Professor and SOJC EndowedChair of Public Relations at the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. Dr. Curtin’sresearch interests include international and cross-cultural public relations, agendabuilding, ethics, and critical/cultural public relations theory. Her work hasappeared in a number of journals and books, including the Journal of Public RelationsResearch, Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication Management,Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Communication Yearbook, andthe Handbook of Public Relations. She is co-author of International PublicRelations: Negotiating Culture, Identity and Power.Marie L. Dick (PhD, Purdue University) is currently an Associate Professor inthe Department of Mass Communications at St. Cloud State University. ProfessorDick’s previous industry experience includes print journalism, public relations, andupper management in corporate training/development. Her research interests arein risk/crisis communication, health communication, and science communication.In addition to her academic work, she and fellow artist Keith Fox have created aseries of 21 acrylic paintings based on various aspects of Professor Dick’s andProfessor Fox’s academic work. “GynTalk: Visual Fiction” has been featured invarious galleries nationwide.
  13. 13. Notes on Contributors xiiiGregory G. Efthimiou (MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is aCommunications Manager for Duke Energy in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hespecializes in corporate communications relating to renewable energy, sustainability,and environmental issues. Prior to this role, he worked for Accenture as a changemanagement and communications consultant. His professional interests includecrisis communication, reputation management, corporate social responsibility, andstakeholder relations. He has contributed to the book Corporate Communicationand to PR Strategist magazine.J. Drew Elliot (MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) works incorporate communications for Progress Energy, a Raleigh, NC-based Fortune500 regulated utility with approximately 3.1 million electric customers in theCarolinas and Florida. His research interests include crisis communication, newmedia, and reputation management. Before accepting a Roy H. Park Fellowshipto UNC Chapel Hill, Mr. Elliot worked as an advisor to legislators in both Housesof Congress in Washington, DC.Mohamad H. Elmasry (MA, University of Minnesota) is a Presidential Fellowand doctoral candidate in journalism and mass communication at the Universityof Iowa. His dissertation about news production in Egypt is expected in summer2009. Mr. Elmasry’s research interests include the sociology of news, national andglobal press systems, western portrayals of Islam and Muslims, and Islam and thepublic sphere. He has accepted an assistant professor position at Qatar Universityand is scheduled to start work there in fall 2009.Jesper Falkheimer (PhD, Lund University) is Associate Professor of Media andCommunication Studies and Communication Management at Lund University,Campus Helsingborg, Sweden. Dr. Falkheimer’s research interests include crisiscommunication, news management, communication strategy, and place branding.His work has appeared in Public Relations Review, Journal of Contingenciesand Crisis Management, Nordicom Review, and Event Management – anInternational Journal. He is editor of Geographies of Communication: The SpatialTurn in Media Studies and has published several textbooks in Sweden on publicrelations and crisis communication.Tomasz A. Fediuk (PhD, Michigan State University) is an Assistant Professor inthe School of Communication at Illinois State University. His research interestsinclude strategic communication, crisis communication strategy effects, persuasivecommunication, public communication campaigns, and research methods. His workhas appeared in Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research,and Journal of Applied Communication Research.Finn Frandsen (mag. art., Åarhus University) is Professor of Corporate Com-munication and Director of the ASB Center for Corporate Communication at ÅarhusSchool of Business, Åarhus University in Denmark. His primary research interestsare crisis communication and crisis management, environmental communica-tion, public relations, marketing communication, organizational communication,
  14. 14. xiv Notes on Contributorsorganization and management theories, rhetorics, and discourse analysis. His workhas appeared in the International Journal of Strategic Communication, RhetoricaScandinavica, LSP and Professional Communication, Hermes: Journal of Languageand Communication Studies, the Handbook of Crisis Communication, and theHandbook of Pragmatics. He is the co-editor or co-author of Medierne og sproget(1996), International markedskommunikation i en postmoderne verden (1997), Hvorgodt forberedte er de? (2004), and Krisekommunikation (2007).Barbara S. Gainey (PhD, University of South Carolina) is Associate Professorof Communication, Public Relations, at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw,Georgia. Her research interests include crisis communication/crisis management(particularly in educational settings), public relations, public engagement, andleadership. Dr. Gainey was the founding faculty advisor for Kennesaw StateUniversity’s PRSSA chapter. In 2007, she was awarded the George Beggs Advisorof the Year award. Dr. Gainey also is a member of the KSU Honors Programfaculty. She has more than 20 years of professional communication experience,primarily in public relations in the public and corporate sectors. She has authoredchapters in New Media and Public Relations and the Handbook of CrisisCommunication and has made numerous presentations at the Association forEducation in Journalism and Mass Communication and International PublicRelations Research conferences.Dawn R. Gilpin (PhD, Temple University) is Assistant Professor of PublicRelations at the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ArizonaState University in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Gilpin’s research interests includecrisis communication, issues management, social and new media, and reputation.She is particularly interested in using theories of complexity combined withnetwork and narrative analysis to examine the relationships between and amongorganizations, and the meanings produced by these interactions within thebroader social, political, and economic context. Her work has appeared in PublicRelations Review as well as several edited volumes, including Public Relations TheoryII. She is co-author of Crisis Management in a Complex World (2008).Robert L. Heath (University of Illinois, 1971) is Professor Emeritus at theUniversity of Houston and Academic Consultant, University of Wollongong,Australia. Heath has published 17 books including Handbook of Crisis and RiskCommunication (2009), Strategic Issues Management (2nd edition, 2009),Rhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations II (2009), Terrorism: Com-munication and Rhetorical Perspectives (2008), Today’s Public Relations (2006),Encyclopedia of Public Relations (2005), Responding to Crisis: A Rhetorical Approachto Crisis Communication (2004), and Handbook of Public Relations (2001).Heath also recently co-edited Communication and the Media (2005), volume 3of the series Community Preparedness and Response to Terrorism. He has contributedhundreds of chapters, articles, and conference papers on issues management,public relations, crisis communication, risk communication, environmental
  15. 15. Notes on Contributors xvcommunication, emergency management, rhetorical criticism, and communicationtheory.Mats Heide (PhD, Lund University) is Associate Professor of Media and Com-munication Studies and Communication Management at Lund University, CampusHelsingborg, Sweden. Dr. Heide’s work focuses on crisis communication, com-munication in change processes, and organizational communication. His researchhas appeared in Corporate Communication: An International Journal, Journal ofContingencies and Crisis Management, and Nordicom Review. Heide has publishedseveral textbooks in Sweden on crisis communication, communication in changeprocesses, and organizational communication.Toni Siriko Hoang is a doctoral candidate at the University of Oklahoma andVisiting Lecturer at the University of Houston Downtown. Her dissertationfocuses on seeking hurricane risk information through web communication. Toniis a former research associate with the Institute for Communication Research, whereshe investigated risk communication and emergency management. Toni was alsoa research assistant for a website communication investigation, which was fundedby Blackbird Technologies. She is currently assisting Dr. Dan O’Hair and the Centerfor Risk and Crisis Management in their study of communication of hurricaneinformation, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Toni’s workhas appeared in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.Sherry J. Holladay (PhD, Purdue University) is Professor of Communication atEastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois. Dr. Holladay’s research interestsinclude crisis communication, corporate social responsibility, activism, reputationmanagement, and stakeholder relations. Her work has appeared in the Journal ofPublic Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Management CommunicationQuarterly, Journal of Communication Management, International Journal ofStrategic Communication, and Encyclopedia of Public Relations. She is co-authorof It’s Not Just PR: Public Relations in Society and Public Relations Strategiesand Applications: Managing Influence, and co-editor of the Handbook of CrisisCommunication.Suzanne Horsley (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is AssistantProfessor of Public Relations at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.Dr. Horsley’s research interests include disaster response organizations, crisiscommunication, government public affairs, and public relations history. Herwork has appeared in the Journal of Public Relations Research, InternationalJournal of Strategic Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research,Journal of Communication Management, and Journal of Business and TechnicalCommunication. She also published a book chapter in Women’s Use of PublicRelations for Progressive-Era Reform: Rousing the Conscience of a Nation.Shama Hyder has an M.A. in Organizational Communication from the Universityof Texas at Austin. She runs an online marketing firm, Click To Client, based inDallas, Texas.
  16. 16. xvi Notes on ContributorsYan Jin (PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia) is Assistant Professor of PublicRelations at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Jing’sresearch interests include crisis communication, strategic conflict management, andthe effects of emotions in publics’ decision-making processes. She has publishedin the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journal ofContingencies and Crisis Management, Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies,Journal of International Communication, Journal of Interactive Advertising,Newspaper Research Journal, and Sphera Publica. She has co-authored several bookchapters, including “Contingency Theory: Strategic Management of Conflict inPublic Relations” in Public Relations: From Theory to Practice. Dr. Jing also receiveda grant from the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations for her study“Emotional Leadership as a Key Dimension of PR Leadership: A StrategicConflict Management Perspective.”Winni Johansen (PhD, Åarhus School of Business) is Associate Professor atthe ASB Center for Corporate Communication at Åarhus School of Business,Åarhus University, Denmark, and Director of the Executive Master’s Program inCorporate Communication. Dr. Johansen’s research interests include crisis man-agement and crisis communication, change communication, environmentalcommunication, public relations, marketing communication, and visual com-munication. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of StrategicCommunication, Rhetorica Scandinavica, LSP and Professional Communication,Hermes: Journal of Language and Communication Studies, and the Handbook ofPragmatics. She is the author or co-author of International markedskommunikationi en postmoderne verden (1997), Kultursignaler i tekst og billede (1999), Hvor godtforberedte er de? (2004), and Krisekommunikation (2007).Ali M. Kanso (PhD, Ohio University) is Professor of Communication at theUniversity of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Kanso’s research interests includestrategic planning in public relations, issues management, global corporatecommunication, international advertising and marketing, and cross-cultural com-munication. His work has appeared in Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal,International Journal of Advertising, International Journal of Commerce andManagement, International Marketing Review, Journal of Advertising Research,Journal of Hospitality and Leisure Marketing, Journal of Marketing Communications,Journal of Promotion Management, Journal of Website Promotion, MarketingIntelligence and Planning, Service Business: An International Journal, and otherleading scholarly journals. He has also contributed to the International Encyclopediaof Communication and five public relations research books. Dr. Kanso conductsregular training workshops and is recognized for his consulting expertise overseas.Michael L. Kent (PhD, Purdue University) is Associate Professor at the GaylordCollege of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Oklahoma,Norman, Oklahoma. Kent conducts research on new technology, mediated com-munication, dialogic public relations, and internal public relations. His research
  17. 17. Notes on Contributors xviihas appeared in Communication Studies, Critical Studies in Media Communication,Gazette, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Quarterly, and a number of otherjournals, books, and encyclopedias, including the Encyclopedia of Public Relations.Kent was a Fulbright Scholar to Riga, Latvia, in 2006, and has lectured and con-ducted research in Bosnia, the Czech Republic, and Italy.Induk Kim (PhD, Purdue University) is Assistant Professor of Communicationat Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois. Her research focuses on the dis-course and strategies of activist communication in the context of globalization.Her recent project investigates the resistive public relations strategies of SouthKorean peasant activists against the Korea–US Free Trade Agreement. Dr. Kim’swork has appeared in the Journal of Public Relations Research and Journal of AsianPacific Communication. She teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level publicrelations courses and is a faculty advisor of the Public Relations Student Societyof America chapter at NIU.Lorraine Kisselburgh (PhD, Purdue University) is Assistant Professor of Com-munication at Purdue University and is affiliated with CERIAS (InformationSecurity), the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, and the HomelandSecurity Institute at Purdue University. Her research interests include privacy,social structures of online communities, collaboration and organization in onlinelearning environments, gender and STEM careers, cyborgian identities, andsecurity organizations and policies. She has received internal and external fund-ing for her research, and has been recognized for her advocacy for women andher service learning initiatives. She has published in Communication Yearbook,Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Studies, the Journal ofMotor Behavior, and Acta Psychologica, and has work forthcoming in twobooks on Destructive Organizational Communication and Communication forSocial Impact.Ruthann W. Lariscy (PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia) is a Professorin the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in the Grady Collegeof Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, Athens. Dr. Lariscy’sresearch interests center on persuasive media messages in primarily health and polit-ical contexts and include health and media literacy, health socialization, onlinesocial media as information sources in both health and political elections, the impactof negative information on perceptions of corporate investors, consumers, andemployees as well as how negative advertising impacts voters. Her work appearsin the Journal of Public Relations Research, Journal of Advertising, PublicRelations Review, Current Issues and Research in Advertising, Journal of HealthCommunication, Health Marketing Quarterly, International Journal of StrategicCommunication, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Journalism andMass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Health and Human Services, PoliticalCommunication, and in numerous chapters in books, such as the Handbook ofHealth Communication.
  18. 18. xviii Notes on ContributorsLarsåke Larsson (PhD Göteborg/Gothenburg University) is Professor ofMedia and Communication Science at Örebro University, Sweden. Dr. Larsson’sresearch is within the fields of journalism, public relations, and crisis communi-cation. His articles have been published in Journalism Studies, Journal ofCommunication Management, and Nordicom Review. He also contributed to PublicRelations: Critical Debates and Contemporary Practice. Opinionsmakarna (“TheOpinion Makers”) is the result of a larger Swedish PR project. He has carried outresearch projects on many severe crisis situations for Sweden, among them theEstonia ferry wreck, the Gothenburg fire, the September 11, 2001 terroristattacks, the murder of a foreign minister, and the tsunami followed by a severehurricane in 2004–5. He has published several academic textbooks on publicrelations and crisis communication.María E. Len-Ríos (PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia) is an AssistantProfessor of Strategic Communication at the University of Missouri-Columbia.Dr. Len-Ríos’s research interests include crisis communication, underrepresentedaudiences, and health communication. Her work has appeared in the Journal ofCommunication, Public Relations Review, Journalism and Mass CommunicationQuarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Newspaper ResearchJournal, Journal of Promotion Management, and the Encyclopedia of PublicRelations. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Public RelationsResearch, Public Relations Review, and the International Journal of StrategicCommunication.Steven R. Levitt (PhD, Ohio State University) is Associate Professor and Chairof Communication at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Levitt’sresearch interests include crisis communication, corporate social responsibility andcause-related marketing, organizational teamwork, and conflict resolution. He haspresented numerous workshops on gender communication, and is certified in conflictresolution and mediation. His work has appeared in Service Business, AmericanJournal of Sexuality Education, Industry and Higher Education, and the Journalof Broadcasting and Electronic Media and as chapters in many edited books.Robert Littlefield (PhD, University of Minnesota) is Professor of Communica-tion and Director of the Risk+Crisis Communication Project at North Dakota StateUniversity in Fargo. Dr. Littlefield’s research interests include risk and crisiscommunication, intercultural communication, and emergency management. Hiswork has appeared in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journalof Intercultural Communication Research, Communication, Culture & Critique,and Argumentation and Advocacy. He is co-author of Effective Risk Communi-cation: A Message-Centered Approach, and has published several monographs forresearchers and scholars working with multicultural publics.Brooke Fisher Liu (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is anAssistant Professor of Public Relations at the University of Maryland, College Park,Maryland. Dr. Liu’s research focuses on how government organizations manage
  19. 19. Notes on Contributors xixcommunication during crisis and non-crisis situations. Her research has been pub-lished in the Journal of Communication Management, Journal of Public RelationsResearch, Natural Hazards Review, and Public Relations Review. Since 2005,Dr. Liu has been an active public affairs volunteer for the American Red Cross,providing public relations counsel and research support for various chapters.Patty Malone (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) is Assistant Professor of HumanCommunication Studies at California State University Fullerton. Dr. Malone’sresearch interests include crisis communication, dysfunctional communicationin organizations, and organizational communication. Her work appears in theJournal of Business Communication, Journal of Public Relations Research, and CaseStudies for Organizational Communications. She also worked in television newsas a TV news anchor for many years and in industry. She has won numerous awardsfor her work in academia, TV news, and corporate communications.Michelle Maresh (PhD, University of Nebraska) is Assistant Professor ofCommunication at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Dr. Maresh’s researchinterests include crisis communication, industry-specific crisis model develop-ment, stakeholder relations, civic engagement, and instructional communication.Her work has appeared in the American Communication Journal and Texas SpeechCommunication Journal. She has also actively presented her work at meetingsof the National Communication Association, Central States CommunicationAssociation, Texas Speech Communication Association, and various colloquia.Portions of Dr. Maresh’s contribution are taken from her master’s thesis (MA,Texas Tech University, 2006), titled “The Aftermath of a Deadly Explosion:A Rhetorical Analysis of Crisis Communication as Employed by British Petroleumand Phillips Petroleum.”Priscilla Murphy (PhD, Brown University) is Professor of Strategic and Organ-izational Communication at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Herresearch interests include complexity and game theories, social and semanticnetworks, crisis communication, and reputation. Her work has appeared in theJournal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Health Communi-cation, Science, Technology and Human Values, Science Communication, Journalof Communication Management, Canadian Journal of Communication, andthe Journal of Applied Communication Research. She is co-author of CrisisManagement in a Complex World (2008), in which complexity theory is usedto model the emergence and resolution of crises in corporations, governmentagencies, and NGOs. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Murphy was Vice-Presidentof Public Relations for PaineWebber Group, Inc., in New York.Bonita Neff, PhD (University of Michigan) and IEL Fellow (Institute forEducational leadership-Washington D.C.) is an Associate Professor heading thepublic relations major at Valparaiso (university received Senator Simon’s inter-national award). Neff ’s co-edited book, Public Relations: From Theory to Practice,received the 2008 PRide Award from the National Communication Association’s
  20. 20. xx Notes on ContributorsPR Division. Bonita established PR Divisions for NCA and CSCA and as a teammember established ICA’s PR division and Miami’s International ResearchConference. She heads the PR/ Corporate track for IABD and previously chairedthe mentioned association PR units, including AEJMC. She contributed researchas a member of the Commission for Undergraduate and Graduate Educationover a nine-year period. Appointed a visiting professor in Croatia (five years) andSouth Korea, Neff advises VU’s PRSSA chapter/student agency selected to holdtwo regional conferences.Richard Alan Nelson (PhD, Florida State University) is Professor of Media andPublic Affairs in the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana StateUniversity and editor of Journal of Promotion Management. His research interestsinclude integrated marketing communications, public relations/public affairs, aswell as strategic and global business ethics issues. Nelson is immediate past-presidentof the International Management Development Association (www.imda.cc) andauthor of A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States andthe forthcoming Propaganda: A Reference Guide. He also co-authored IssuesManagement: Corporate Public Policymaking in an Information Society (withRobert L. Heath). Nelson’s research has been published in InternationalMarketing Review, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of Marketing,Journal of Marketing Communications, Public Relations Review, Service Business:An International Journal, and other leading scholarly outlets.Alexander G. Nikolaev is an Associate Professor of Communication in theDepartment of Culture and Communication at Drexel University, Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. He earned his doctorate from Florida State University, where healso taught for four years. His areas of research interest and expertise include suchfields as public relations, political communication, organizational communication,international communication, international negotiations, international news cov-erage, and discourse analysis. He has authored articles in these areas in trade andscholarly journals as well as book chapters in the United States and overseas. Hehas years of practical work experience in the fields of journalism and public rela-tions in the United States and Eastern Europe. He is the author of InternationalNegotiations: Theory, Practice, and the Connection with Domestic Politics. He alsoedited Leading to the 2003 Iraq War: The Global Media Debate with E. Hakanen.Kristin M. Pace (MA, Illinois State University) received her BA in Communi-cation from the University of the Pacific and currently is a graduate studentat Michigan State University. Her research interests include understanding the effectsof crisis communication strategies, how stakeholders cognitively process public com-munication campaigns, and how persuasion is used in communication campaigns.Augustine Pang (PhD, Missouri) is an Assistant Professor at the Division of Publicand Promotional Communication, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication andInformation, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr. Pang’s researchinterests include crisis management and communication, image management and
  21. 21. Notes on Contributors xxirepair, public relations, journalism, and media sociology and systems. Besidescontributing book chapters to leading public relations and communicationtextbooks, his works have appeared in the Journal of Contingency and CrisisManagement, Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of CommunicationManagement, Journal of International Communication, Asia Pacific MediaEducator, Sphera Publica, and the International Encyclopedia of Communication.He has won top paper awards at leading international conferences including theCorporate Communications International Conference (2008), the Association ofEducators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference (2007),and the International Public Relations Research Conference (2004 and 2005).Sun-A Park (MA, University of Missouri) is a doctoral student in strategiccommunication at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Sun-A Park’s researchinterests include crisis communication and health communication. Her work hasappeared in Public Relations Review and Newspaper Research Journal.Michael Pfau (PhD, University of Arizona) was Professor and Chair of the Depart-ment of Communication at the University of Oklahoma from 2001 until hispassing in March 2009. Prior to that, he was Professor and Director of GraduateStudies at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University ofWisconsin-Madison. His research interests concerned mass media influence andresistance to influence, particularly the uses of inoculation. Pfau co-authored and/oredited seven books. The most recent include: Mediating the Vote: The ChangingMedia Landscape in US Presidential Campaigns (2007), The Handbook ofPersuasion: Theory and Practice (2002), and With Malice Toward All? The MassMedia and Public Confidence in Democratic Institutions (2000). He authored orco-authored more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. His publicationshave won the National Communication Association (NCA) Communication andSocial Cognition Division’s Distinguished Book Award and Distinguished ArticleAward, NCA’s Golden Anniversary Monographs Award, and the SouthernCommunication Association’s Rose B. Johnson Award.Katherine Rowan (PhD, Purdue University) is Professor of Communication atGeorge Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Her research on science, risk, andcrisis communication has appeared in Health Communication, Risk Analysis,Communication Education, and the Journal of Applied Communication Researchand in books such as the Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication,Communicating Uncertainty, and the Handbook of Communication and SocialInteraction Skills. Her most cited work describes strategies for explaining com-plex science. Recent projects include work for a National Academy of Science studycommittee, Health Canada, the National Library of Medicine, the NationalCancer Institute, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. She has receivedteaching awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the PoynterInstitute of Media Studies, the Central States Communication Association, andPurdue University.
  22. 22. xxii Notes on ContributorsTheresa Russell-Loretz (Purdue University, 1995) is an Associate Professor ofCommunication at Millersville University in Pennsylvania, where she teaches agraduate course in crisis and risk communication as an associate of MU’s Centerfor Disaster Research and Education. Additionally, she serves on the Faculty SteeringCommittee for the Software Productization Center at Millersville, has served asa consultant for a number of nonprofits in the Lancaster area, and is an instructorfor MU’s Nonprofit Resource Network. Her research focuses on organizationalidentity, feminist interpretations of public relations messages, nonprofit public rela-tions strategies, and Pennsylvania Emergency Manager’s public relations strategies.Angelica Ruvarac (MA, Purdue University) is a PhD candidate at Purdue Uni-versity, West Lafayette, Indiana. Her research interests include crisis communica-tion, ethical communication, relationships with publics, corporate reputation, andorganizational motivation. She is co-author of “Secrecy and Organization–PublicRelationships: The Processes and Consequences of Secrecy-CommunicationStrategies” (in progress), co-author of “Fraternity Drinking as Edgework: An Analysisof Perspectives on Risk and Control” for Health Communication (in press), andco-author of “We Tell People: It’s Up to Them To Be Prepared” for the Hand-book of Crisis Communication (in press).Karen Sanders (PhD, Navarra) is head of the Department of Advertising andInstitutional Communication at CEU San Pablo University (Madrid) andAssociate Professor at the IESE Business School. She was a member of theDepartment of Journalism at the University of Sheffield from 1995 to 2006. Shehas published a number of books, including Ethics and Journalism (2003) andCommunicating Politics in the 21st Century (2009) as well a wide range of art-icles in the fields of ethics and communication and political communication. Shewas a founding member of the Institute of Communication Ethics in 2002 andof the Association of Political Communication in 2008. She was previously dir-ector of media and parliamentary relations for the British Chamber of Shipping.Matthew W. Seeger (PhD, Indiana University) is Professor and Chair of theDepartment of Communication at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.Seeger’s research interests concern crisis and risk communication, crisis responseand agency coordination, health communication, and ethics. He has worked withthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on issues of pandemic influenzapreparedness and with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense. Hiswork on crisis has appeared in the Handbook of Crisis and Risk Communication,International Encyclopedia of Communication, Journal of Health CommunicationResearch, Communication Yearbook, the Handbook of Public Relations, Handbookof Applied Communication Research, Public Relations Review, CommunicationStudies, the Southern Communication Journal, Journal of Business Ethics, Journalof Business Communication, Management Communication Quarterly, Journal ofApplied Communication Research, and the Journal of Organizational ChangeManagement.
  23. 23. Notes on Contributors xxiiiTimothy L. Sellnow (PhD, Wayne State University) is Professor of Communi-cation at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches courses in research methods,organizational communication, and risk and crisis communication. Dr. Sellnow’sresearch focuses on bioterrorism, pre-crisis planning, and communication strat-egies for crisis management and mitigation. He has conducted funded researchfor the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Department ofAgriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Sellnowhas published numerous articles on risk and crisis communication and hasco-authored four books. His most recent book is entitled Risk Communication:A Message-Centered Approach. Dr. Sellnow is the former editor of the NationalCommunication Association’s Journal of Applied Communication Research.Keri K. Stephens (PhD, University of Texas) is Assistant Professor in theDepartment of Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.Dr. Stephens’ research focuses on combinatorial ICT use by studying the con-sequences of working in organizations containing a multitude of ICT options.The major applications of her work are in the areas of workplace technology use,organizational meetings, and crisis and safety communication. Her published andforthcoming work appears in Communication Theory, Management Communi-cation Quarterly, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, IEEE Trans-actions on Professional Communication, Communication Education, Journal ofBusiness Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Informing Science,and Case Studies in Organizational Communication. She is a co-author of the bookInformation and Communication Technology in Action: Linking Theory andNarratives of Practice.Renae A. Streifel (MS, North Dakota State University) resides in Powers Lake,North Dakota, with her husband and two children. She currently is a stay-at-homemother. Previously, Renae worked in fundraising for Prairie Public Broadcasting,Inc., and Plains Art Museum, both in Fargo, North Dakota.Maureen Taylor (PhD, Purdue University) is Professor and Gaylord FamilyChair of Strategic Communication in the Gaylord College of Journalism at theUniversity of Oklahoma. Dr. Taylor’s research interests include internationalpublic relations, crisis communication, activism, and new communication tech-nologies. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Public Relations Research, PublicRelations Review, Management Communication Quarterly, Human CommunicationResearch, Communication Monographs, and the Journal of Communication.Terri Toles-Patkin is Professor of Communication at Eastern Connecticut StateUniversity.Rod Troester (PhD from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1986) isan Associate Professor of Communication at The Pennsylvania State Universityat Erie, The Behrend College where he teaches small group and leadership com-munication, organizational communication, and research methods. His research
  24. 24. xxiv Notes on Contributorsinterests include: communication and civic engagement in community controversies,the relationship between civility and communication, and peace and conflictcommunication.Robert R. Ulmer (PhD, Wayne State University) is Professor and Chair of theDepartment of Speech Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.His research and teaching interests focus on risk and crisis communication. Hehas co-authored four books focusing on effective risk and crisis communication.His latest book, titled Effective Crisis Communication: Moving from Crisis toOpportunity, emphasizes how organizations can grow and prosper if they preparefor and communicate effectively during a crisis. Beyond research and teaching heoften serves as an organizational consultant and research collaborator with publicand private organizations, including the Department of Homeland Security, theNational Center for Food Protection and Defense, the Arkansas Department ofHealth, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Lia Ungureanu is a doctoral student in the PhD Program in Communication,Information, and Library Studies at Rutgers University. She earned a Master’s inCommunication and Information Studies (MCIS) degree at Rutgers with a thesison crisis communication and image repair. Her current research interests includemedia and visual culture, issues of group and self-representation in photographicpractices, and new media.Shari R. Veil (PhD, North Dakota State University) is the core director ofeducation and outreach for the Center for Risk and Crisis Management at theUniversity of Oklahoma, where she teaches crisis communication and public rela-tions as an Assistant Professor in the Gaylord College of Journalism and MassCommunication. Dr. Veil was previously a research fellow with the Risk and CrisisCommunication Project investigating agrosecurity concerns for the United StatesDepartment of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security NationalCenter for Food Protection and Defense. Her research focuses on organizationallearning in high-risk environments, community preparedness, and communicationstrategies for crisis management.Steven Venette (PhD, North Dakota State University) is an Assistant Professorin the Department of Speech Communication at the University of SouthernMississippi. He leads translational research efforts for the National Center for FoodProtection and Defense’s risk and crisis communication team. He has completedrisk and crisis communication consulting projects for the USDA, DHS, CDC, andmany other public and private organizations. Topic areas of his publications includerisk communication, crisis communication, public relations, organizational com-munication, terrorism, and argumentation.Kathleen Vidoloff (MA, North Dakota State University) is a first-year doctoralstudent in the Communication Department at the University of Kentucky. Heracademic focus is risk and crisis communication. She was awarded the 2008
  25. 25. Notes on Contributors xxvR. Lewis Donohew Fellowship. She currently serves as the Risk CommunicationCoordinator for the Department of Homeland Security National Center for FoodProtection and Defense. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Ms. Vidoloff workedas a public information officer for a local health department in Fargo, North Dakota.In 2005–8, she served as editorial assistant for the Journal of Applied Com-munication Research. She also served in a training capacity for the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention Crisis Emergency – Risk Communication:Pandemic Influenza national training program. She worked previously for formerUS Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) in an official capacity and onhis 2004 re-election race.Orla Vigsø (PhD, Uppsala University) is Associate Professor of Swedish at theSchool of Humanities, Education, and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden.His main interests lie within public communication, both political and commercial,in particular crisis communication. Dr. Vigsø has published articles on rhetoric,argumentation, hermeneutics, semiotics, multimodal texts, and structuralist theory.He is also active as a translator of French theory (Baudrillard, Virilio, Derrida).Quian Wang (PhD, Purdue University) has research interests in doctor–patientcommunication, new technology, crisis communication, health campaigns,e-health, media learning, and cancer communication. She has worked with theGlobal Economics Forum on international HIV/AIDS campaigns. She has publishedwork in News Press, Youth Journalists, and Contemporary Media. Her work hasbeen reported at conventions for the National Communication Association, theInternational Communication Association, and the Central States CommunicationAssociation, and at the Global Communication Conference. She is co-author ofthe books Introduction to Health Communication, Design, Planning, Control, andManagement of Healthcare Systems, and Media Discourse. She is also co-translatorof the book Media and Entertainment Industries: Readings in Mass Communication.Shelley Wigley (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is Assistant Professor in theDepartment of Communication at the University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington,Texas. Dr. Wigley’s research interests include crisis communication, corporate socialresponsibility, and the impact of new technology on media relations. Her workhas appeared in Public Relations Review, Corporate Reputation Review, Communi-cation Research, Communication Monographs, Communication Studies, and theJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication.David E. Williams (PhD, Ohio University) is a Professor of Communication Studiesat Texas Tech University. His research specializations include crisis communica-tion and management and crisis speaking. His work has appeared in the Journalof Applied Communication, Communication Studies, Public Relations Review, andseveral book chapters dealing with crisis communication.Jennifer Willyard is a doctoral student at Texas A&M University.
  26. 26. PrefaceWhile painful at times, the creation of the Handbook of Crisis Communication hasbeen a labor of love. All of the authors have contributed their labor through theirpassion for crisis communication. Passion and research are two concepts that existin a binary relationship. Crisis communication seems to evoke passion, perhapsbecause of the emotion embedded in the topic. Crises are emotional eventsfor those involved. Consider employees experiencing an industrial accident,customers suffering from a harmful product, or people displaced by a naturaldisaster. The Handbook contains examples of these and many other crises thattrigger emotions and realizations of vulnerabilities for the researchers as well astheir readers. There should be empathy because any researcher or reader caneasily become a crisis victim. All it takes is a change in the weather, e. coli in ataco, or salmonella in your peanut butter to become a crisis victim. The bottomline is that we all have a stake in making crisis communication as effective aspossible. People, including family, friends, and ourselves, can benefit when crisiscommunication is effective, or suffer when it is flawed. A primary goal of this volume is to improve the practice of crisis communica-tion. Practitioners will have a collection of various approaches and insights intocrisis communication that should inform their work. The applied research in thisbook should make crisis communication more effective. A secondary goal is tocreate a resource for crisis communication researchers. Researchers will learndifferent approaches to studying crisis communication and see suggestions for futureresearch. Actually, the secondary goal supports the primary goal. By inspiringadditional research, the Handbook can contribute to future improvement in thepractice of crisis communication. A tertiary goal is to further the developmentof crisis communication as its own field. This volume maps the territory for significantresearch directions past, present, and future. Currently, crisis communication ismore of a subdiscipline in public relations and corporate communication. However,as the research in crisis communication continues to grow, it may be able toestablish itself as an independent field that is both provocative and exciting. These
  27. 27. Preface xxviiare lofty goals, but as one popular expression states, “Go big or stay home”(GOBOSH). We hope you will agree that, as a whole, the Handbook of CrisisCommunication does go big. The Handbook content has been organized into eight parts. Part I is Crisis andAllied Fields. It provides a discussion of the scope of crisis communication, howit relates to similar fields, and provides a review of the primary literature on thosefields. Part II is Methodological Variety. It illustrates the various researchapproaches to crisis communication including case studies, textual analysis,content analysis, and experimental. Part III is The Practice. It focuses on thework crisis managers perform. Part IV is Specific Applications. It examineshow crisis communication is applied in specific contexts such as the oil industry,government, education, and racial crises. Part V is Technology and Crisis Com-munication. It explores the ways crisis communicators are utilizing online com-munication technology. Part VI is Global Crisis Communication. It illuminatesthe complex role of culture in crisis communication and the increasing need tounderstand international crisis communication. Part VII is Theory Development.This is the largest section and provides research that serves to develop and to testcrisis communication theory. Each chapter serves to expand our knowledge ofcrisis communication theory in some way. Part VIII is Future Research Directions.It provides commentary from a variety of crisis communication experts on whatfuture crisis communication research should explore. Taken as a whole, this finalsection offers a diverse agenda for future crisis communication research.
  28. 28. AcknowledgmentsClearly, no collection of this size is the result of the efforts of just the editors.This Handbook began life as a special issue on crisis management for the Journalof Public Relations Research. There were so many quality submissions but solittle space. Bob Heath suggested developing those quality pieces into a book.Elizabeth Swayze at Wiley-Blackwell was very supportive and the idea for theHandbook of Crisis Communication was born. Working from that core set of entriesand the guidance from the reviewers, we were able to construct an impressive col-lection of works. We drew upon other experts in the field and excellent researchwe saw at conventions to complete the final project. Margot Morse at Wiley-Blackwell was instrumental in helping us to keep track of all the entries and authors.In the end, we have a comprehensive Handbook that will help to define the emer-ging and rapidly growing field of crisis communication. The only problem with arapidly growing field is that by the time you read this, there will be new ideasarriving on the scene. Those will be topics and approaches for the next edition.
  29. 29. Introduction Crisis Communication: Defining the Beast and De-marginalizing Key Publics Robert L. HeathFor at least three decades, interest in organizational crisis has created a ton ofresearch findings and best practice observations by academics and practitioners inthe disciplines of management and communication. This interest has created acottage industry for experts on management practices. It is even a key aspect ofissues management insofar as issues lead to crisis and crisis leads to issues. Themanagement reasoning for this interest is simple: Crisis costs money, which offersthe incentive to avoid, mitigate, and respond in ways that best protect capital andhuman resources, and generically “reputation” which some feature as the essenceof effective crisis response. Damaged reputation can offend businesses’ customers,non-profits’ donors, and legislators who provide tax revenue for governmentagencies. Thus, by whatever focus, the ultimate theme featured is the integrityand legitimacy of the organization, as managed resources, through various discip-lines, including public relations. Interest in the broad topic of crisis management and communication is so strongthat the sheer volume of work produced by public relations and corporatereputation academic experts dominates the literature in those fields, especiallypublic relations to the extent that it has virtually become a discipline rather thana subdiscipline. This subdiscipline has grown steadily, largely launched by whatwas generally touted to be an effective response by Johnson & Johnson duringthe Tylenol scare. What began as slow drips has become a torrent of interest. PublicRelations and Crisis (by various names) has become a standard course offering atcolleges and universities. Part of that interest comes from the fact that crisis is dramatic; it is newsworthy.For that reason, media reporting not only define, but make salient the conditionsof crisis. However sound that rationale is, it often makes the study of, preparationfor, and response to, connected to media reporting and relations. Crisis preven-tion can be seen as working to avoid negative media attention. This features thecommunication side of crisis, and perhaps obscures the larger reality that crisis,even a bad news day, can harm or force correction of strategic business planning.
  30. 30. 2 Robert L. HeathAnd, crisis prevention, mitigation, and communication response begins with savvystrategic business planning. Thus, the integrity and legitimacy of the organizationis central to the theme of crisis. This kind of discussion not only focuses on business reputations, but also onthe public sector and non-profits. Politics is a hot bed of crisis, whether it is asex scandal involving a congressperson (or president) engaging in inappropriate(or hypocritical) same-sex liaisons or extramarital affairs. For instance, the trial ofTed Stevens (R-AK) figured into voters’ decisions. Some undoubtedly voted againsthim because he had by election day been convicted of seven counts of fraud. Others,however, undoubtedly voted for him for that very reason – seeking to assure hiselection as a Republican who could resign as a Republican so the replacementcould be appointed by a Republican governor. In the political context, this topicincludes having persons engaging in conflicts of interest and acts of governmentalofficials based on selfish interest (versus the public interest) and lies and highlybiased framing of facts, values, policies, and identifications. Interest in crisis also reaches into non-profits, perhaps with mismanagement offunds, or violation of the organization’s mission and vision. It can include con-flicts of interest between executives and consultants. Non-profit organizations suchas the WMCA work hard to maintain zero tolerance, for instance, on behaviorthat could lead to crisis in such activities as its summer swim programs. One ofthe interesting aspects of crisis, however, is that various non-profits are strategic-ally positioned (mission and vision) to respond to crisis. The Red Cross is oneof the most obvious organizations of this type. Likewise, the Federal EmergencyManagement Agency (FEMA) is a government agency designed to be a crisisresponder. Hurricane Katrina, for instance, created a crisis for FEMA which seemedto be suffering crisis rather than working effectively to minimize or mitigate thecrisis experienced by other organizations and myriad individuals. So, crisis can affect all sorts of organizations and key figures. In fact, one caneven imagine that celebrities play beyond the edge of crisis control to flaunt con-vention and increase publicity value. And, given the fact that they are celebritiesor public officials, they in fact are either above the law or allowed (even encour-aged) to play by “different standards of acceptable conduct.” The violation of thosestandards, which could harm the reputation of the ordinary citizen, may in facthave market value for celebrities. But even they can become entangled in waysthat harm their brand or lead to severe sanctions than may even end careers. These twists and turns motivate the prevalence of interest in crisis and respon-sible academic and practitioner investigations of how ethical responses should beaccomplished. As an academic, research opportunities abound. Students thrill tothe drama of crisis and thirst to be crisis responders. Practitioners have a revenuebird nest on the ground. Senior managers in major organizations are known tocollect case studies to introduce a higher standard of ethics – corporate social respon-sibility among the managers and executives. Younger practitioners often believethey have “earned their stripes” when they get to respond or lead the responseduring a crisis. The cost of badly managed crises can even outweigh the often
  31. 31. Introduction 3unfortunate countervailing influence of general counsel to say and do as little aspossible lest it be held against you in court. As we navigate the pedagogy, research, and practice relevant to crisis, we pauseperiodically to assess seriously where the literature and best practices are, wherethey should go, and how we are going to get there. In such discussions we areincreasingly mindful of the twin pillars of process and content/meaning. We knowthat various processes, before, during, and after a crisis, can affect how it playsout. We know that meaning matters, that interpretations and evaluations of crisesare socially constructed and rhetorically challenging. Discourse analysis can shedlight on the texts that lead to, surface during, collide, and become refined aftera crisis. Often, such analysis has keen insights by hindsight. One challenge, how-ever, is to provide insights that can be applied effectively and ethically under extra-ordinary pressures of limited time and severe scrutiny of the organization’slegitimacy. Chapters in this volume suggest and define potentially productive avenuesof research and best practices that deserve closer attention. As we lead into thosechapters, it seems worthwhile to keep several challenges in mind. Do We have a Commonly Shared Definition of Crisis?One who has tracked the discussion over the years knows that many definitionshave surfaced. Heath and Millar (2004), for instance, list and discuss approximatelytwenty definitions. Some feature a mistake or dramatic turning point in the his-tory of the organization. Others focus on the need for management effortsbeyond normal or routine procedures. Some emphasize stress, others inadequatecontrol, uncertainty, violation of laws or ethics, and other malfeasance. Some pointto weak preparation and inadequate preventions – as well as the need for crisiscommunication planning, training, personnel role assignment, drills, and otherstrategic and tactical options, including drafted or templated messages to be used“when the crisis occurs” because they will – and do. In all of these definitions, onecan find the focus on control – whether the organization knew, appreciated,planned, and appropriately enacted sufficient control over operations to prevent,mitigate, respond, and learn from a crisis. If not, post-crisis response needs toaddress in planning and then in public the lessons learned to reduce the likeli-hood of recurrence, and thereby staunch the likelihood that an organization becomescrisis prone or have a history of crises. Thus, for instance, crisis can be isolatedevents or part of a “larger pattern” of organizational performance. With a focus on some turning event or condition, one can focus on a defini-tion that a crisis is a risk manifested. As such, organizations can be definedand evaluated by the quality of their risk management, which, if it cannotprevent a crisis, can at least understand the conditions and preparation require-ments sufficiently to be prepared to respond, bring control, mitigate damage,and protect other interests. Risks come in all sizes and shapes. They can beforeseen. They can be planned for and mitigated. In fact, an entire line of
  32. 32. 4 Robert L. Heathmanagement theory features risk management, including the multifaceted role ofpublic relations. Crisis management experts Berg and Robb (1992) observed that by the dateof their publication the Valdez “case had become, in the minds of the experts, aparadigm for how not to handle a corporate crisis” (p. 97). In contrast to Exxon’shandling of the Valdez spill, Johnson & Johnson’s “image rescue project was quicklyjudged by most commentators as an unqualified success” (p. 100). Other expertslooking at either crisis may hold different or conflicting opinions. So, how anorganization should assess and manage risk and respond to crisis is a strategicproblematic. How well each organization meets its challenge is a strategic prob-lematic. Experts, professional and academic, will disagree, but neverthelessengage in healthy controversy to help others understand the challenges andevaluative measures for success or failure in such endeavors. One of the central themes in crisis is the matter of accountability, the willing-ness and ability of some organization to meet key stakeholder expectations onsome matter. Related to that concept is legitimacy. It is easy to reason thatcrisis by definition alerts key publics to the possibility that the focal organizationis not meeting the standard of accountability and doing what is necessary to meetthe standard of legitimacy. In that regard, a lot of crisis work seems to featurethe reports that surface in the media regarding some incident of concern. In recenttimes, we might have come to think almost exclusively of incident specific crisis. If so, do we miss the much larger and more compelling crises such as thebusiness mistakes of General Motors and other US automobile companies? Suchis the magnitude of these business planning mistakes that they pose a crisis formany other businesses, as well as hundreds and even thousands of workers. Theypose crisis for communities that depend on jobs and tax revenue. They can, anddo, pose a crisis of identity for workers, investors, and citizens whose sense of selfis affected positively or negatively by how well the industry, and key members ofit, prosper or perish. The same kind of crisis occurs when bad business judgment (corporate, indi-vidual, and governmental) leads to the sorry state of the US economy in late 2007and 2008. It even became a major factor in the 2008 presidential election. Punditssuggested that McCain’s chances diminished from a post-convention high to theloss because of the dramatic slump in the economy. Massive infusion of govern-ment money was needed, in the United States and other countries, to stabilizeand revitalize the capital markets, including institutional and individual lending.Such events are not as easy to dissect or prescribe image restoration remedies forthose who were responsible, or irresponsible. In such matters, we often fail to ask,not was or is there crisis, but whose or what crisis deserves our attention most. Taking an almost opposite view of that crisis problematic, it is possible to framea crisis not on what an organization did badly, but what it did well. If we thinkthat crisis occurs because of what an organization does badly, what if how itperforms well also creates a crisis – for other organizations? If a government organ-ization passes legislation, such as what is called Sarbanes-Oxley, the reporting
  33. 33. Introduction 5standards for publicly traded businesses might be more transparent and thereforelead to more responsible management and greater transparency. Such a move resultsfrom the Enron and WorldCom crises. However, in doing what it did, Congressand the White House in fact created a crisis for companies wanting to continuethe traditional financial reporting policies. The new rules may cost more moneyand lead to embarrassments. And a crisis for many of the players can result eitherfrom Sarbanes-Oxley or leading to changes in it to reduce its crisis impact. How we define crisis determines whether we see its interconnection withissues, brand equity, and risk. Also, we can focus on the wrong sense of what isa crisis. We might, for instance, focus on a crisis in the automobile industry if aplant exploded, a vehicle model incurred dramatic failure in safety, or employeesgo on strike. But would we see it as a crisis if the company engaged in risk manage-ment whereby it committed too much to one model line, SUVs for instance,and too little to energy efficiency so that increases in fuel costs distorted themarket and made the business plan obsolete? Which is more likely to cause thecompany to be in peril, a plant fire given dramatic attention on television or amisjudgment in the direction of the market? It seems that one of the biases in crisis is to follow the smoke and perhaps findthe wrong fire. That is even the case for what is often seen as the quintessentialcrisis response: Johnson & Johnson and Tylenol product tampering. It is oftenviewed as the best response: Quick/timely, open, and management driven. It waseasy to blame an outsider and shift responsibility from what some critics thoughtto be a company that had been slow to adopt caplets instead of easily tamperedcapsules and to not proactively adopt tamperproof packaging. Some in marketingadvised against both of these product development measures because each couldscare away customers from the brand that took that bellwether leadership. Canyou imagine the “crisis” created if advertising were to announce: “Buy ourproduct because it is safe. Bad persons cannot tamper with the product and killpeople.” Adoption of tamperproof packaging was not a matter of customer safetybut consumer whims prior to the dramatic event that brought forth clamor forsuch packaging. It is ironic that organizations often need a crisis to justify a changethat is recognized but likely to be either unacceptable or harmful to the missionand vision of the organization. Some of the most exciting chapters in this book try to refine and advancedefinitions. That effort does not weaken the current status of our work bydemonstrating that we don’t know enough about that which we try to explainand prescribe. In fact, if physics is worth comparing to us, one of the compellingquestions facing that discipline is what is matter? For us, we can only know thatwe have made the best progress when we are confident we can define crisis, espe-cially in ways that set its scope and purpose, as well as understand and appre-ciate its role in society and connections to risks and issues. That foundationalpreoccupation is not wasted or a sign of intellectual weakness. And, it assures thatwe don’t think we know something because we have achieved groupthink andtrained incapacity.
  34. 34. 6 Robert L. Heath Taking an extreme view of crisis – what constitutes crisis – Cox’s (2007)discussion dwelled on the scope of that topic as the dire prospect for total envir-onmental collapse. Based on that logic, which is environmental activists’ rhet-orical positioning – perhaps also a matter of sound science – he argued thatEnvironmental Communication as an academic journal and its contributors andreaders have the ethical responsibility to weigh in on environmental issues in waysthat reduce, mitigate, or prevent various specific environmental crises. Thus, theessence of environmental communication, as crisis communication, should focuson practices, policies, and ethics that prevent or staunch the harm of this crisis. To that end, Senecah (2007) agreed in part with Cox, and challenged thoseresearching environmental communication to consider the breadth of their work,as well as its depth. The purpose was to look for dysfunction that might aidfurther deterioration of the environment by missing some relevant topic oranalytical approach. Responding to the same topic, Heath, Palenchar, Proutheau,and Hocke (2007) reasoned that communication theory in general, and crisis,environmental, and risk communication in particular, are inherently normative.Not only is the question what is the qualitatively best means for communication,but what end of such communication is normatively preferred? Such questionscannot be answered independent of contexts, such as the environment or prod-uct safety, or the responsiveness of a government organization or even non-profitorganization seeking financial support to protect battered women or foster oneof the arts. Based on these logics, crisis communication is normative, as is its management.The goal of management and communication is to prevent harm to others andto be accountable – and therefore legitimate participants in a community. Suchendeavors have a proactive challenge to know, understand, and be able to iden-tify and mitigate conditions that lead to crisis. The logic here is that crisis harmssomeone or something. We often like to think that the harm is to an organiza-tion’s reputation, but it often is more than that. It harms some interest other thanthe organization which in turn damages the organization’s image. To borrow anow trite and variously used phrase which summarized the essence of this chal-lenge: It’s the harm, stupid! Recently, Coombs (2009a) offered perspective to our efforts to define crisis.He observed that at any one time, only a portion of the total crisis story is likelyto reach the public, as people can only see a fraction of an iceberg. A good researchand best practices definition has to include what we readily observe, as well aswhat we don’t. He stated: A crisis can be viewed as the perception of an event that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can impact the organization’s performance. Crises are largely perceptual. If stakeholders believe there is a crisis, the organization is in a crisis unless it can successfully persuade stakeholders it is not. A crisis violates expectations; an organization has done something stakeholders feel is inappropriate. (p. 100)
  35. 35. Introduction 7As the focal point for assessing crisis response strategically and assessing thequality of the response, Coombs pointed out that such investigation and practiceneeds to focus on (a) crisis management knowledge and (b) stakeholder reactionmanagement. Can We Approach Crises (Academic Study and Professional Best Practice) Without Suffering a Managerial Bias?We find many studies that focus on what and how well any organization underpressure in “crisis” needs to communicate and how they need to make their case.Such studies tend to give off the tone of being the wise Monday MorningQuarterback. It’s often easy to point to what could have been said, and how itcould have been stated. But do those studies have substantial generalizabilityto other crises? And do they focus too much on the organization ostensiblysuffering crisis and place too little importance on the other persons or entities ina relevant community as also being in crisis? In fact, the crisis for victims(individual and community) of a deadly mining operation, for example, may bemore of a crisis than it is for the owners and managers of the company. If theyonly consider the organization and its reputation, don’t such studies suffer amanagerial bias because they consider the organization as “victim” and perhapseven marginalize the true victims? Waymer and Heath (2007) reasoned that most crisis research focuses on asingle organization, and rarely on the larger set of entities that suffer in varyingways and to varying degrees of magnitude (the essential ingredients of a riskmanifested). Sometimes the assumption also is that all “audiences” witnessing,judging, and reacting to the focal organization are of one mind, in such a waythat a strategy can achieve universal impact with multiple publics. Both errors in focus weaken the quality of research and the development of bestpractices. Such is especially true if we think everyone is of the same mind andapplies the same expectations of what can and should be said and done to “putthe crisis behind us.” If the offending organization is a coal mining company, thefocus might be on the company management, for instance, ignoring the crisesexperienced by the families involved, other community members, community includ-ing local government, and vendors who supply mining equipment including safetyequipment, and customers who depend on product flow. Surely insurance com-panies and regulatory bodies in various ways suffer crisis? Statements that mightsatisfy one set of victims (at their own crisis) can appease their concern, but mightactually enflame a different audience, public, or other set of victims. If we think of the crisis surrounding Hurricane Katrina, we can quickly realizethat no force could stop the storm. Crisis thus cannot, in that case, address pre-vention, but mitigation. Thus, for each crisis (thought of individually or by type)we need to be aware that we are interested in the various rhetorical problems at
  36. 36. 8 Robert L. Heathplay, not only for the organization that is in the spotlight, but others that alsoare caught in the wake of this speeding bullet. We are also interested in manage-ment (prevention, response, mitigation, and such) themes that can have a positiveor negative impact on the communicative aspects of the crisis response. Exploring the power external organizations have during a crisis, Boys (2009)examined the rhetorical roles of two stakeholder groups in the Roman Catholicsex abuse case. She framed her case by arguing that the “US Roman Catholichierarchy lost exclusive jurisdiction over the situation” (p. 290). She analyzed therhetorical contentions of the US Roman Catholic Church, the Voice of the Faithful,and Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The defensive strategies usedby the hierarchy were made more difficult because of the voices of the other twogroups who framed the issue in terms of the victims, who kept the issue salient, andwho worked for larger interests than those only of the management of the church. Can We Segment and Appropriately Research and Develop Crisis Planning in Three Phases?Pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis stages have become featured aspects of crisis analysis(for a discussion of what needs to be done during each of the three stages, seeCoombs 2009a). How well we understand these stages as discrete, but interdependent,events (points of analysis) and know what each requires (both as prevention andresponse) can advance the theory, research, and practice. Pre-crisis communicationcan ask what can be said and done to reduce the likelihood of a crisis and mitigateits harm if it occurs. This, for instance, is a key aspect of effective communityrelations crisis communication where high risk companies, such as petrochemicalfacilities, work to prevent crisis, but also communicate with area residents to mitigatedamage if or when a crisis/emergency occurs. Similar logics apply to experts whopredict and alert residents to severe storms, as well as respond if such events occur. The crisis event as such has received most of the attention of scholars andpractitioners. As points of analysis, the interest in these events often is promptedby news coverage. How and what we know of best practices and engage instrategic research to better understand the best responses are contingent on howwe define crises. Thus, merely seeing them as bad news days can limit the fullscope of what scholars can eventually add to this discipline. As Coombs (2009a) reasoned, pre-crisis should embrace concerns for preven-tion and preparation. The crisis stage is concerned with response: Process and con-tent. The post-crisis phase gives various voices and managements the opportunityfor follow-up communication, perhaps, for instance, offering the lessons learnedfrom the crisis that can reduce the likelihood of recurrence, mitigate it if is does,prevent recurrence, and prepare stakeholders for that event. Also working to under-stand the options available for effective post-crisis response, Ulmer, Sellnow, andSeeger (2009) reasoned that this is a time for the organization to renew itself. Inone sense that option suggests that the organization cannot simply seek to returnto business as normal, but must position itself to become different and better.