Effective Crisis Communication: Moving From Crisis to Opportunity

Front Cover

In this fully updated Fourth Edition of Effective Crisis Communication, three of today’s most respected crisis/risk communication scholars provide the latest theories and innovative approaches for handling crisis. Unlike other crisis communication texts, this acclaimed book answers the question, "what now?" and explains how organizations can create the potential for opportunity, renewal, and growth through effective crisis communication. Authors Robert R. Ulmer, Timothy L. Sellnow, and Matthew W. Seeger provide guidelines for taking the many challenges that crises present and turning those challenges into opportunities. Practical lessons and in-depth case studies highlight successes and failures in dealing with core issues of crisis leadership, including managing uncertainty, communicating effectively, understanding risk, promoting communication ethics, enabling organizational learning, and producing renewing responses to crisis.

New to the Fourth Edition:

  • New and updated examples and case studies include diverse cases from recent headlines such as SeaWorld’s reaction to Blackfish, the United Airlines debacle, and the Flint Water Crisis.
  • Updated theories and references throughout provide readers with the latest information for effective crisis communication.

 

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Contents

PART I THE CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATION
1
CHAPTER 1 DEFINING CRISIS COMMUNICATION
3
CHAPTER 2 UNDERSTANDING CRISIS COMMUNICATION THEORY AND PRACTICE
17
PART II THE LESSONS AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION
29
CHAPTER 3 LESSONS ON EFFECTIVE CRISIS COMMUNICATION
31
CHAPTER 4 APPLYING THE LESSONS TO PRODUCE EFFECTIVE CRISIS COMMUNICATION
49
CHAPTER 5 LESSONS ON MANAGING CRISIS UNCERTAINTY EFFECTIVELY
73
CHAPTER 6 APPLYING THE LESSONS FOR MANAGING CRISIS UNCERTAINTY EFFECTIVELY
85
PART III THE OPPORTUNITIES
149
CHAPTER 9 LEARNING THROUGH FAILURE
151
CHAPTER 10 RISK COMMUNICATION
159
CHAPTER 11 RESPONDING TO THE ETHICAL DEMANDS OF CRISIS
171
CHAPTER 12 FACILITATING RENEWAL THROUGH EFFECTIVE CRISIS COMMUNICATION
183
REFERENCES
195
INDEX
209
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
219

CHAPTER 7 LESSONS ON EFFECTIVE CRISIS LEADERSHIP
111
CHAPTER 8 APPLYING THE LESSONS FOR DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE CRISIS LEADERSHIP
125

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About the author (2017)

Robert R. Ulmer is Professor and Chair of the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also holds two secondary appointments in the College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences. His teaching, research, and consulting interests focus on creating effective risk and crisis communication through renewal, growth, collaboration, and opportunity. He has served as a consultant working with a wide variety of public, private, governmental, and not-for-profit organizations on how to effectively prepare for and manage risk and crises effectively. He has published articles in Management Communication Quarterly; Communication Yearbook; The Journal of Business Ethics; Public Relations Review; the Journal of Organizational Change Management; the Journal of Applied Communication Research; the Handbook of Crisis Communication; The Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication, The Encyclopedia of Public Relations; and The Handbook of Public Relations.

Timothy L. Sellnow is Professor of Risk and Crisis Communication in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and currently serves as theme leader for the risk communication research team at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, a Center of Excellence sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. Sellnow's primary research and teaching focus is on risk and crisis communication. Much of his recent research focuses on strategic communication for mitigating the impact of and maintaining resilience in response to potential terrorist attacks--particularly bioterrorism. His work on crisis, risk, and communication has appeared in the Handbook of Crisis and Risk Communication; International Encyclopedia of Communication; Communication Yearbook, Public Relations Review; Communication Studies; Journal of Business Ethics; and many others. Sellnow is the co-author of three books on crisis and risk communication and is the past editor of the Journal of Applied Communication Research.

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