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The Handbook of Crisis Communication

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9441-9
768 pages
December 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
The Handbook of Crisis Communication (1405194413) cover image
Written as a tool for both researchers and communication managers, the Handbook of Crisis Communication is a comprehensive examination of the latest research, methods, and critical issues in crisis communication. 
  • Includes in-depth analyses of well-known case studies in crisis communication, from terrorist attacks to Hurricane Katrina
  • Explores the key emerging areas of new technology and global crisis communication
  • Provides a starting point for developing crisis communication as a distinctive field research rather than as a sub-discipline of public relations or corporate communication
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Notes on Contributors ix

Preface xxvi

Acknowledgments xxviii

Introduction 1
Robert L. Heath

Part 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 Cheng

Part II Methodological Variety 91

Case 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. Efthimiou

Textual 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

Content 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. Holladay

Experimental.

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 Elliot

10 Crisis Response Effectiveness: Methodological Considerations for Advancement in Empirical Investigation into Response Impact 221
Tomasz A. Fediuk, Kristin M. Pace, and Isabel C. Botero

Part III The Practice 243

11 "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. Sellnow

12 Thirty Common Basic Elements of Crisis Management Plans: Guidelines for Handling the Acute Stage of "Hard" Emergencies at the Tactical Level 261
Alexander G. Nikolaev

Part IV Specific Applications 283

Organizational Contexts.

13 Oil Industry Crisis Communication 285
Michelle Maresh and David E. Williams

14 Educational Crisis Management Practices Tentatively Embrace the New Media 301
Barbara S. Gainey

15 FEMA and the Rhetoric of Redemption: New Directions in Crisis Communication Models for Government Agencies 319
Elizabeth Johnson Avery and Ruthann W. Lariscy

Crisis Communication and Race.

16 Effective Public Relations in Racially Charged Crises: Not Black or White 335
Brooke Fisher Liu

17 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 Nelson

Part V Technology and Crisis Communication 379

18 New Media for Crisis Communication: Opportunities for Technical Translation, Dialogue, and Stakeholder Responses 381
Keri K. Stephens and Patty Malone

19 Organizational and Media Use of Technology During Fraud Crises 396
Christopher Caldiero, Maureen Taylor, and Lia Ungureanu

20 Organizational Use of New Communication Technology in Product Recall Crises 410
Maureen Taylor

Part VI Global Crisis Communication 423

21 Crisis Communication, Complexity, and the Cartoon Affair: A Case Study 425
Finn Frandsen and Winni Johansen

22 Crisis Communication and Terrorist Attacks: Framing a Response to the 2004 Madrid Bombings and 2005 London Bombings 449
María José Canel and Karen Sanders

23 Negotiating Global Citizenship: Mattel’s 2007 Recall Crisis 467
Patricia A. Curtin

24 Celebrating Expulsions? Crisis Communication in the Swedish Migration Board 489
Orla Vigsø

Part VII Theory Development 509

25 Crisis Communicators in Change: From Plans to Improvisations 511
Jesper Falkheimer and Mats Heide

26 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. Cameron

27 Crisis-Adaptive Public Information: A Model for Reliability in Chaos 550
Suzanne Horsley

28 Communicating Before a Crisis: An Exploration of Bolstering, CSR, and Inoculation Practices 568
Shelley Wigley and Michael Pfau

29 Who Suffers? The Effect of Injured Party on Attributions of Crisis Responsibility 591
Sun-A Park and María E. Len-Ríos

30 The Dialectics of Organizational Crisis Management 607
Charles Conrad, Jane Stuart Baker, Chris Cudahy, and Jennifer Willyard

31 Exploring Crisis from a Receiver Perspective: Understanding Stakeholder Reactions During Crisis Events 635
Tomasz A. Fediuk, W. Timothy Coombs, and Isabel C. Botero

32 Credibility Seeking through an Interorganizational Alliance: Instigating the Fen-Phen Confrontation Crisis 657
Timothy L. Sellnow, Shari R. Veil, and Renae A. Streifel

Part VIII Future Research Directions 675

33 Future Directions of Crisis Communication Research: Emotions in Crisis – The Next Frontier 677
Yan Jin and Augustine Pang

34 Complexity and Crises: A New Paradigm 683
Dawn R. Gilpin and Priscilla Murphy

35 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. Seeger

36 Toward a Holistic Organizational Approach to Understanding Crisis 698
Maureen Taylor

37 What is a Public Relations "Crisis"? Refocusing Crisis Research 705
Michael L. Kent

38 Crisis and Learning 713
Larsåke Larsson

39 Pursuing Evidence-Based Crisis Communication 719
W. Timothy Coombs

Afterword 726

Name Index 728

Subject Index 732

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W. Timothy Coombs is Professor of Corporate Communication at Eastern Illinois University, USA. He is the author of Code Red in the Boardroom (2006), and Today's Public Relations (2006).

Sherry J. Holladay is Professor of Corporate Communication at Eastern Illinois University, USA. She is the author of numerous articles related to corporate communication.
Together, they have co-authored It's Not Just PR (Wiley-Blackwell 2007), and PR Strategy and Application (Wiley-Blackwell 2010).

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  • Written as a tool for both researchers and communication managers, this Handbook includes a thorough discussion of latest theories, methods, and critical issues in crisis communication
  • Includes in-depth analyses of well-known case studies in crisis communication, from terrorist attacks to Hurricane Katrin
  • Explores the key emerging areas of new technology and global crisis communication
  • Provides a starting point for developing crisis communication as a distinctive field research rather than as a sub-discipline of public relations or corporate communication
See More

“The inherent fascination of an unfolding crisis combined with an engaging style make the handbook, although occasionally dense, a thoroughly engaging read and an essential resource for anyone interested in the field of crisis communication.  Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Students, upper-division undergraduate and up; researchers; faculty; professionals. ”  (Choice, 1 July 2012)

"This superb book reflects the scholarship, passion, and intellectual excitement that the field of crisis communication has generated during the past two decades.  Most importantly, this thoughtful work recognizes the genesis of crisis communication as a subfield of public relations and management, and its potential to stand as an independent and powerful arena for scholarship. The Handbook of Crisis Communication is likely to become an enduring landmark in an emerging but increasingly influential field." Donald Fishman, Boston College

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