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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 2. CCC and the Multiple Stakeholders


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Stakeholders are people who have a vested interest in a particular crisis or disaster. Zaremba (2015) defines or characterizes “stakeholders” as audiences who receive messages during crises. However, during crises or disasters, there are multiple stakeholders. For instance, stakeholders may have direct interest in the crisis and others may not, but affected organizations may see them as an asset in managing or in responding to a crisis. Specifically, Zaremba refers to the latter group as individuals who receive messages and those that organizations want to have a stake in the crisis. Therefore, stakeholders are people who can be an extension of resources available to organizations or can be victims affected by crises or disaster events. This chapter explores the nature of stakeholders and their roles in crisis preparation and management, ← 29 | 30 → in particular, how stakeholders are essential to CCCs and how they assist in the implementation of the AMCM.

Crises do not occur in a vacuum; rather, their occurrence impacts people and affects their lives, and in certain situations it often changes people’s lives forever. Because a crisis leaves such an indelible impression on people, it is important that pre- and post-crisis management takes into consideration people whose lives are impacted directly or indirectly. Therefore, drawing from the AMCM principles, an organization such as the CCC must understand that a given crisis would impact the stakeholders...

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