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Handbook for the Crisis Communication Center

Bolanle A. Olaniran and Juliann C. Scholl

Crisis communication plays an important role in maintaining a community’s safety and security. While governments devote significant attention to national crises, anticipation and preparation specific to local communities is imperative and can assist media outlets, elected officials, and message designers in successfully reaching their intended target audiences. However, local leaders might not possess the communication skills and knowledge needed to prepare a local community for potential crises. Therefore, there is a need for communities to have support systems in place to help them respond and communicate appropriately.

This volume provides a comprehensive resource that provides the knowledge and guidelines that can be used for localized crisis preparation. Focusing on crisis preparedness/readiness, it discusses and extends the anticipatory model of crisis management (AMCM) in the establishment of crisis communication centers (CCCs) within local communities and municipalities across the U.S. The authors advocate for communities to create CCCs that would be comprised of municipal and community members who can fulfill specific functions on a team tasked with preparing for crisis, as well as responding to a crisis aftermath.

Directions for  future research such as the comparison of specific crisis prevention strategies across similar local communities, and developing new and innovative ways to collect and warehouse large amounts of crisis data, is provided.

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Chapter 1. The Anticipatory Model of Crisis Management and the Crisis Communication Center (CCC)


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Chapter Highlights

If there is one certainty, it is that crises are inevitable. Crises almost always occur at the most inopportune time. The times in which we live suggest the need to be prepared for crises of all forms, including disasters and terrorist threats. It is no longer a question of whether crises will happen but when. Four months into 2015, there were three outbreaks of the norovirus on cruise lines, and nine in the previous year. Prior to that, there was the spread of Ebola to the United States and to several European nations. Then there was the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion that saw several million barrels of oil spilled after a well was drilled in the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. It took more than three months to stop the oil spill.

These examples point to the necessity of crisis planning and crisis preparedness. Among the lessons learned from all of these crises is that planning is paramount and that crisis managers should consider wisely and proactively ← 3 | 4 → the likelihood of various issues or risks that can manifest in ways that require prevention, mitigation, and response. In other words, issues and their management are essential to effective crisis planning and to preparedness. Therefore, it is the responsibility of key decision makers and leaders in organizations, communities, and governments...

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