Crisis Communication

by Kaci Jones

On October 16th, 2014, our Mass Communication class, Coastal Environmental Communication, had Andrea Miller, come talk to us about ‘Crisis Communication’.

During this speech, we learned about institutional strengths, crisis public relations, stages or crisis concentrating on the public relation side of things, and crisis journalism and focusing on the journalism side of things also.

Institutional Strengths

During a crisis, the news organizations are the ones who play the most important institutional roles. News organizations are the main source of information when people are seeking details about an event. Giving people updates about what is happening decreases fear and anxiety toward the issue. People who are in the public relations field of work are hoping that their work does that, decreasing fear and anxiety is one of their main goals. To do this they seem out information ignored to find out more information about the topic.  As a worker in this field you have got to know how to report global infrastructure and under breaking news crisis circumstances, this alone can make or break your career.

Crisis in Public Relations 

When using Public Relations to cover a crisis, your goal is to manage and report accurately. This is because a negative situation, whether it was expect or unexpected, can cause a major uproar in fear and anxiety. Especially if left unattended, it could cause a disruption in everyday operations and routine of individuals, businesses, and/or organizations. If not reported properly it can cause monitory damage and can cause economic suffering.

Stages of Public Relations

There are 5 major stages of Public Relations while reporting a crisis, they are as followed:

  • Detection
  • Prevention/Preparation
  • Containment
  • Recovery
  • Learning

Crisis in Journalism

When reporting a crisis within the journalism filed, you have to be sure that a negative event, whether expected or unexpected, that does cause an uproar. Journalism interrupts daily routine and demands additional time, attention and resources to gather information.

Stages of Journalism

There are 5 stages of reporting crisis using Journalism, they are as followed:

  • Detecting
  • Describing the event
  • Making sense, giving perspective, correcting, and analyzing
  • Preparing audiences to cope with the after effects
  • Learning

These are some of the major topics Miller discussed during our class period. I really enjoyed the talk and learned a deeper understand of the difference between Public Relations and Journalism from her. She was relatable, clear, and fun to get to listen and have discussion with!!!


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